Exercise Improves Mood! Here's a Workout for Every State of Mind

woman in athletic clothing outside smiling
No matter your state of mind, there's no doubt that exercise improves mood!
by Lindsay Tigar

We all wake up on the wrong side of the bed some days. Fortunately, exercise improves mood in a major way! While feeling less than stellar could entice you to stay in bed or stick to the couch, research shows that the more you get moving, the happier you may feel!

Scientists even estimate that just five minutes of moderate fitness can make you feel better. While there's no specific type of exercise that's a cure-all, the point is to get active! Here are some great suggestions to lift you into a better mood:

For When You Feel Anxious: HIIT

Perhaps you're going through a stressful period at work. Or maybe you and a loved one aren't seeing eye-to-eye. Whatever the case may be, you're feeling anxious and worried and you need to work it out — literally. Exercise can improve mood by providing an outlet to channel feelings. Get out those swirling thoughts with a high-intensity interval training session (HIIT). You'll be moving from one move to the next so fast, you won't have time to fret!

For When You Feel Stressed: Yoga

Maybe you're not feeling "wrong," but you don't feel 100 percent. It could be that you have trouble focusing or your mind is scattered. Maybe you can't find inspiration or get into a creative zone. Basically, you're feeling meh. So channel those Oms and flow your way into a clearer mind with yoga! Yoga connects us to our breath and challenges us to live in the moment, and these are benefits everyone could use now and again.

For When You Feel Sad: Boxing

Going through a tough break up? No matter how long you dated, there's nothing that breaks quite as painfully as a heart. You need time to go through the stages of letting go of your past flame, and boxing can be a productive way to approach the sadness or anger you feel. And since exercise improves mood, this may even help you get out there again!

For When You Feel Tired: Running

Oxygen filling your lungs with air: This is what you need when you're tired! While feeling tired can be a big roadblock to performance, if you're trying to get some energy back, it can be helpful to push through and work out anyway.

At the end of your workout, you may feel refreshed and ready to tackle what's ahead of you with renewed energy! Running is great because you can go at your own pace, take breaks, and don't have to worry about meeting a specific goal. Instead, you can simply keep your body moving and get your heart rate up!

For When You Feel Stuck: Strength-Training

Maybe work feels like a dead end right now or you haven't been on a vacation in months. Sometimes friendships can feel stagnant, and it's often hard to find the motivation to change things. Feeling stuck isn't a great sensation since it can make you want to stand still. If you're not sure which way to turn for a sense of control, you could try strength training.

Because it's easy to track your strength increasing on a machine or see your minutes stacking up during a timed plank, exercises like these can provide you with a sense of measurable accomplishment and, more importantly, positive transformation.

How are you feeling today? No matter your state of mind, exercise can be a great way forward and upward!

As always, please consult with a physician prior to beginning any exercise program. See full medical disclaimer here.