The Best Exercises for When You're Feeling Sad

2023-09-28 15:31


Feelings of sadness can quickly derail fitness goals, causing your workout motivation to dwindle. Even performing simple physical activities, such as making your bed and cooking a healthy breakfast, don’t fall high on your list of priorities when your heart and mind are out of sorts.

When you're in a low mood, prioritizing exercise can work to your advantage. Working out can help lift you out of sadness and cause your emotions to transform into something more upbeat.

According to a comprehensive study on exercise and mental health, researchers found that exercise could actually change the way your brain functions and decrease your depression and anxiety

50-Minute Walk in Nature

A study on the health benefits of exercise and nature suggests head to the nearest green hills when you're feeling down.

Researchers measured changes in positive and negative affect, anxiety, and perceived stress among participants before and after the following: a 50-minute walk on a forest path, a 50-minute walk along a busy road, and a period of performing typical activities of daily living. Results showed that forest walks provided the largest improvement in psychological state. 

To put your safety first in the forest, the CDC recommends: 

  • Pick trails that are shaded or near streams during hot weather.

  • Carry water. In cold weather, you'll need to drink more.

  • Take a friend with you for safety in numbers (and the mental health benefits of friendship).

  • Use assistance. A hiking stick can take a little pressure off your legs and knees.

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