much love monday: exercise as a mood-lifter

half bow/half locust with tita

the past week hasn’t been the best one i’ve ever had.  i feel like i’ve fallen into this post-trip lull.  so i was on a trip for two months, it was incredible, and for the first couple weeks i was home, everything here was pretty exciting.  it was fun to be home, wonderful to reconnect with my friends, everything felt new and special and familiar and beautiful.  but this third week has had its share of disappointments, things that didn’t turn out as hoped, let-downs, job leads that went nowhere, etc.

wednesday in particular held more than a few shitty moments and i chose to combat it, instead of sitting at home  & lamenting the state of affairs.  i cycled downtown, bought a membership at a boxing gym (which they only sell in year-long increments: something that made this commitment-phobe nervous but determined not to waste it) and then headed to my regular gym for an 8km run on the elliptical machine and a 2km row.   on top of that, all the cycling was about 20km, and when i got home i did a one-hour session of yin yoga as a way to give my muscles a long, slow stretch after all the intense activity of the day.

again on sunday, activity served to pull me out of a slump.  i’m lucky enough to live close to one of my good friends, tita, who is really inspiring  when it comes to exercise.  we did a really great workout: 20 mins of yoga followed by a cycle of reps working back & front, using our own body weight (but this will get a post of its own).

of course, working out has some serious benefits all on its own:

  • increased mobility, circulation, flexibility, energy & endurance;
  • seeing progress on a goal;
  • preventing and working to reverse health problems;
  • floods your brain with mood-enhancing endorphins;
  • you get to spend time doing something you enjoy (once you find out what kind of physical activity you like the best);
  •  gives distance from emotional stress. it doesn’t erase whatever is bothering me, but it allows me to focus elsewhere until the initial emotional reaction (sadness, feeling bummed, anger) is used up and i can look at the real feelings beneath it.

2 thoughts on “much love monday: exercise as a mood-lifter

  1. yay! i’m so glad you are going to pursue boxing. so cool.

    i’ve started doing yoga again (a couple of months ago) after quite a few years and it has been so far quite wonderful to rediscover it, esp. now that i am finding running is harder on my body than it was ten years ago. yin yoga does wonders for my leg muscles and poor knees and feet.

    1. oh, that’s so nice to hear!! it’s so important to balance out the muscles, especially when one develops the front set (ie quads) so much. yoga really helps with the hamstrings, plus all its other benefits. oh my god. it’s just soo good<3

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