Mood match your workout
Whether you’re happy, sad, pumped up or frazzled, there’s a perfect workout for your frame of mind
Let’s face it, leaping about to loud music first thing in the morning is the last thing you want to do after waking up tired. And when you’re bright eyed and raring to go, doing a tree pose to an ‘om’ chant can be, strangely enough, a little frustrating. When it comes to exercise, the trick is to recognise your mood and choose your workout accordingly.
“It’s essential that you do exercise you want to do,” says Dr Mark Anshel, from the US Association for Applied Sport Psychology. “If you don’t, the result is poor performance, negative feelings about working out and, eventually, quitting doing any exercise at all.”
So, read on to find out how to maximise your workout, whatever mood you’re in…
You have 167 unanswered emails, your heel snapped off your shoe and you have a big presentation in the afternoon. Argh! If you’re having the day from hell, the thought of exercising can really add to your stress. Dr Jennifer Hurst, a professor in exercise science, suggests that if you’re feeling time pressure, engage in smaller bouts of exercise. “Just five minutes of walking can provide a fresh focus,” she says. “Do this a few times throughout the day.”
If you have time for a full workout, WF yoga expert Charlotte Dodson says that while the yoga has been long hailed for its stress-relieving benefits, there are specific poses allocated to different stress types. “If you’re feeling closed off from others, then a backbend pose, which opens up your entire body, will help you feel and be more approachable. Anxious? Try doing a handstand: it’s a difficult move that’ll help give you confidence and strength to confront difficult or worrying times.”
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