10 fitness fixes for every mood
Exercises and workouts suited to your mood
Life is full of highs and lows; one day you might be feeling unbeatable after getting the job of your dreams, whilst the next day you might be feeling vulnerable and lonely because you managed to fall over a bar stool in front of your ex and their new partner. So, if life and our moods change so dramatically, why shouldn’t our fitness regimes? Here we show you how you can match your mood to your exercise – give it a go.
The exercise: When you’re feeling blue the last thing you want to do is surround yourself by overly happy people who are dancing their hearts out as if they’re in a high school musical. Instead of going to a dance or aerobic class, go spinning.
Why: When you’re sad spinning is an excellent fitness fix because the class is so intense that even the jolliest of Santa’s Christmas elves wouldn’t be able to muster a smile whilst pedalling. This lack of happiness is great when you’re sad because you won’t be reminded of the fact that you’re not happy and yet, by the end of the class, you will have worked so hard that your body will be filled with endorphins, which should lift your spirits.
The exercise: The Mental Health Foundation reports that our modern way of living, with our market-driven society, has led to an increase in loneliness. If you’re feeling lonesome go rock climbing.
Why: Rock climbing requires you to partner up with someone. It also requires a lot of trust and the fear and adrenaline rush most people experience when rock climbing will help you build bonds with those people you partner with. So grab your chalk bag and head to your local climbing wall.
The exercise: At some point in our lives we all feel anxious. If you’re feeling a little panicked or worried yoga is the perfect fitness fix for your worried mind.
Why: For those who are stressed or anxious the breathing exercises involved in yoga are particularly useful because they can slow your heart rate and help you meditate and clear out some of your negative, anxiety-inducing thoughts. The bumble bee breath is definitely worth a go if you’re anxious.
The exercise: If you’ve been stuck in a snaking traffic jam for hours or have had your overly critical in-laws round for the weekend, you should head out running – it’s the perfect fitness fix.
Why: It has been said that running is becoming ever more popular because as our lives become more claustrophobic we crave the freedom that running gives. When you’re out in the elements, running wherever you like and propelling yourself using your own strength you can understand this way of thinking and it’s easy to see why running is such a good cure for frustration.
The exercise: Yawn! Life can get dull and a fantastic fitness fix for those who are bored to tears is basketball.
Why: Basketball is fast-paced and a hugely social game that will banish your boredom and leave you feeling energised, focused and content. If you don’t play basketball regularly, most gyms and parks have courts where you can practise your jump shots.
The exercise: It might not strike us all the time, but feeling flirty is something that we all feel at some point. The perfect fitness fix for this mood is hula hooping.
Why: You might have thought your hula hooping days were over, but trust us hula hooping is making a revival for adults and there’s a reason why – it’s great for you and it’s a lot of fun. Hula hooping can help tone your waist, plus the sensual circling of your hips can strengthen your pelvic muscles, which will boost your skills in bed.
The exercise: So you missed your bus, found out your friend is dating one of your exes and got the plug pulled on a project you’ve been working on in work. If this sounds familiar it’s time to take some deep breaths and book your place in a Boxercise class.
Why: Instead of punching your so-called friend or your awful boss, it might be wiser and more morally acceptable to instead pummel the air at a Boxercise class. Practising your jabs and your right hooks to a hard-hitting beat is surprisingly therapeutic and when you hang up your gloves after your class you should feel a little less irate.
The exercise: When you are excited you often feel energised, eager and social. Therefore the best fitness fix for those times when you’re buzzing with excitement is Zumba.
Why: Zumba is built for excitable people. The heartfelt, pulsing tunes are ideal for excited souls and the music is so upbeat that throwing your limbs around to the beats can only raise you to a whole new level of excitement.
The exercise: When you’re feeling great you should indulge in a little stretching; it’s the perfect workout for those days when everything is going your way.
Why: Stretching is great when you’re happy because on other days when you’re not feeling great you’ll want to do more strenuous exercise to get an endorphin hit. Yet stretching is important, so make use of your happiness by taking time to work on your flexibility. Aim for 15-30 seconds to improve flexibility and ideally repeat each stretch twice.
The exercise: You haven’t had a decent night’s sleep in weeks and you’ve been going into work early and staying late to make sure you meet the deadline on that big project – no wonder you’re tired. The best fitness fix when you’re exhausted is diving into a pool and swimming.
Why: You might not swim like a mermaid or be another Michael Phelps but we promise you that splashing around in the water will soon wake you up. Also, although swimming is an excellent resistance exercise, your tired body becomes buoyant in water and so your muscles and joints won’t be under much strain. This is great news for your sleepy body.