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Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Best Workouts for Every Mood

Fitness Fixes for Any Mood

Dreary days got you down? Don’t let that ruin your workout. Whether you’re feeling crabby or floating on cloud nine, you can maximize your mood to blast a ton of calories and bust out of an emotional rut—if you choose the right routine. In fact, studies have shown workouts to be as powerful as drugs at treating depression. And a little goes a long way—even 10 minutes has been shown to boost energy and mood. To find out how to channel emotional ups and downs into more effective workouts, we tapped Stacey Rosenfeld, PhD, a clinical psychologist and certified personal trainer in New York City who has studied the effects of different workouts on mood.

1. When you’re feeling: Stressed out, Try: Swimming
Yoga isn’t the only way to find peace of mind. If holding a pose when your brain is racing drives you crazy, you may be better off distracting yourself with higher-intensity cardio. “There’s something about the water that’s very soothing,” says Rosenfeld. “My patients also say that it helps them sleep, which is important if your stress is keeping you up at night.” To get a boost without dwelling on negative thoughts throughout the workout, get your mind off of your worries with intervals, suggests Rosenfeld. Swim as hard as you can to one end of the pool, then recover on the way back.

2. When you’re feeling: Sad, Try: A scenic walk
“The biggest thing when you’re feeling down is just to get yourself going,” says Rosenfeld. “Sadness is a low-arousal state, so it’s not an ideal time to push yourself,” she explains. Listen to your body and aim to do something rather than nothing—even a 10-minute walk has been shown to release mood-lifting endorphins.

3. When you’re feeling: Angry, Try: Kick-boxing
It may be cliché, but a healthy release can be just what the doctor ordered, says Rosenfeld. Why not channel that aggression into a calorie-blasting workout? Another good option: strength training. The combination of physically pushing yourself while mentally focusing on the workout lets you blow off steam in a productive way, leaving you clear-headed by the time you head for the shower.

4. When you’re feeling: Happy; Try: Urban rebounding
Feel like jumping up and down? Go ahead—and burn over 500 calories an hour doing it! A fat-blasting throwback to the mini-trampolines of the ‘80s, Urban Rebounding classes (offered at Bally’s and other gyms nationwide) involve jumping on a trampoline while doing full-body toning and conditioning. If bouncing around for an hour isn’t your thing, that’s okay—just try another class. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you harness your top-of-the-world mood by doing something you never thought you could.

5. When you’re feeling: Lonely; Try: Dropping in on a running club
There’s nothing like the endorphins from a good workout to help spark conversation and build new friendships. Don’t have a workout buddy on call? Most exercise groups welcome newcomers, so don’t be shy. Look for fliers at a local sporting goods store or rec center, or search your zip code at meetup.com. And even if you don’t talk to anybody, working out alongside others can help you get a better workout while feeling less exertion, according to British researchers.

sorce: http://fitbie.msn.com/get-fit/tips/best-workouts-every-mood/tip/0

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