Posted by: Tracy Anderson
When you are feeling overwhelmed or depressed, exercise is the last thing on your mind. Your mood can be affected by so many contributing factors, and unfortunately, your fitness regimen is generally the first thing to fall by the wayside when you aren’t feeling your best.
I can’t emphasize enough how physical activity is so important in helping to restore your health and improve your mood. When you exercise and move around, you release positive chemicals in your brain such as neurotransmitters and endorphins, which repair your overall well-being and help you feel happier. When you are feeling saddened or depressed, you may also be compromising your immune system, which can have a lasting impact on your health and lead to more serious conditions.
I have put together some tips to help you work through life’s daily stresses and help you improve your mood:
Start Small: If the thought of going to the gym is way too overwhelming, take it one step at a time – literally. Do some light stretching in your room, stand up and walk around your house, or go for a quick walk.
Fresh Air: It is important to spend part of your day outside, even if it’s only for a few minutes. Sit outside on your lunch break, walk or bike to your destination instead of driving, because an active lifestyle can quickly get you back on track to working out regularly.
Social Interaction: Pick up the phone, make plans with friends, or even call a relative. It’s been proven that even looking at old pictures can make people much happier.
Practical Suggestion: Always keep a pair of sneakers in your trunk. I know that this sounds bizarre, but often times, your emotions can intensify while you are driving and you may be letting negativity build up. Always give yourself the option to pull over, go for a walk or a quick run if you need to get up and move.
Most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for help. In recognition of domestic violence awareness month this October, I will be featuring a lifestyle video with the incredible Ariel Zwang of Safe Horizon. Safe Horizon is the largest victims’ services agency in the United States, has more than 60 locations, and serves more 250,000 children, adults, and families affected by crime and abuse throughout New York City each year. Since 1978, Safe Horizon has provided victims with a wide range of comprehensive support. I encourage you to find a resource in your area to get the appropriate support as soon as your notice that there is a problem.