How to Match Your Mood to a Workout

Though I try to stick to a pretty consistent workout routine, some days that routine just doesn’t feel right. Anyone else? Instead of trying to force a certain type of fitness, I’m doing my best to match how I’m feeling to a type of movement. Based on what mood I’m in, here’s the workout I’ve found to balance out that emotion.

When you’re stressed/overwhelmed…Do yoga. Yoga is not only an excellent physical workout for your body, it’s an even better one for your mind. When you’re stressed, you need to calm down your central nervous system, and yoga 100% accomplishes that.

When you’re tired/overworked…A walk is best if you’re tired and still want to do something active. When you’re exhausted, it’s best not to try and do a super challenging workout, because you’re more likely to injure yourself. Simple stretching is an excellent choice, too.

When you’re sad…Go for a run to boost your endorphins. If you aren’t a runner, you can break it up with some walking to still get the same effect, and bring a friend along for a venting session. It’s true what they say about a “runner’s high” – you’ll be feeling better in no time. A hike outside usually makes a sad day happier, too. Mix in some music that you love, and it’s a perfect solution.

When you’re happy/motivated…Push yourself. This is the day to try Barry’s Bootcamp or whatever high-intensity workout you’ve been eyeing. It’ll only push your happy high further, and you’ll get a kickass routine in.

When you’re angry/upset…Try kickboxing or a boxing class. There’s nothing better than letting all your emotions go on a punching bag, and when you’re upset, it’s such a release. You’ll leave class feeling calmer and ready to tackle (not literally) whatever is in your way. As a bonus, you’ll get your frustrations out on the bag and not your partner or friends. They can thank me later!

When you’re feeling unmotivated/blah…Head to a group workout class like spin. 30+ other people working out around you will motivate you, especially if you’re competitive. Add some super fun music and a good instructor, and you’ll likely walk out feeling much more like yourself.

Do you ever try to match your mood to a workout? What works for you?


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  1. Don’t hang around people who bring you down. Find people who make you feel good about yourself and avoid those who tend to trigger your negative thinking.

  2. I love how you thought of exercises that compliment and support every mood. That way we can get the best results out of every work with no excuses to skip one. Awesome post I’ll keep this in mind! 🙂

  3. This is good advice. I typically try to pus through what I already have planned, but maybe I should listen to my mood and modify as needed

  4. This is so true! I walk, run, box and do yoga, and I could associate those emotions with the best times I’ve had doing each.

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