Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Exercise is My Mood Enhancing Drug

The other week I just started crying in my cubicle for no apparent reason. I was so busy, focused on my work, then this one little thought crept in and I burst into tears. I dried my eyes and composed myself before anyone was the wiser, but I started to think, what the heck is wrong with me?

I've been feeling overwhelmed, stressed, tired, and generally down in the dumps. I am the first person to admit that I have nothing in life to complain about, but sometimes I do it anyway. People have real problems: personal problems, marriage struggles, financial worries, health issues. I have none of that, but for some reason, I was having terrible anxiety about dealing with just the regular everyday stuff. Yeah, work can be stressful, but it is just work, right? I still get to go home to my husband and our peaceful home every night at five. In the grand scheme of things, my life is pretty good.

So why was I suddenly a Debbie downer? It was so obvious! I haven't been running consistently. I'd get a run in on the weekend here and there, but generally wasn't making a consistent effort to get out there and it was starting to take it's toll, not only on my pant size, but on my emotional well-being.

Hubby said, "You have to get to the gym." He knows that when I work out I am happier, manage stress better, and generally have a more positive outlook on life. I just wasn't making time for it. I was making excuses instead. I'm too busy! It's too dark! It's too cold! I'm too tired! And because I was feeling like crap, I didn't feel like exercising.

I know better! I love to work out. I love to run. I'd just got caught in a rut.

Then one day last week as I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, I noticed that one of my very best friends (that I don't see nearly enough) checked-in at the LA Fitness near my home at 5:30am. I didn't even know she was a member there, or that she was hitting my gym at five o'clock in the morning. That was all that I needed. I immediately signed up for a membership online (to avoid those awful salesman) and decided to meet her there the very next day. We weren't even going to work out together, as we have different goals and workout plans, but just merely knowing that there was someone looking for me in the morning was enough to get me going again.

It has only been a week since I have been back on my 5am gym routine and I am amazed at the difference in my overall emotional well-being. My job is no less stressful than it was a week ago. Nothing has changed except for one hour long morning sweat sessions and suddenly things are looking up. I don't have that doom and gloom attitude that hovered over me a mere week ago. I feel happier.

I'm not talking about that "runner's high" that you feel after a great hard run, I get that too, but a general all around mood enhancement that stays with me all day. I know the physical benefits of regular exercise, but I think sometimes I forget about the psychological effects. I always knew exercise made me feel good when I do it, but I guess I forgot how bad I could feel when I don't.

It is amazing to me what a difference a little exercise can make in such a short period of time.

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Keep Running,


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  1. Isn't it funny how sometimes the littlest things can bring us to tears? Today I had the opposite happen. The littlest things were making me smile. It felt pretty awesome actually. Exercise doesn't exactly have the same effect on me as it does for you, but sunshine and warm days do. Even the mild Vegas winters can get to me, but spring is definitely in the air here and life is good! Plus I think I'm finally kicking this stinking cold. Yay!

    1. I'm glad you are feeling better too! Yes, I agree a little sun and warm weather make me feel pretty good too!

  2. I try not to be a Negative Nancy and more of a Positive Pam. That has been my focus lately!

    Agreed. Exercising regularly helps relieve anxiety and stress A LOT. I know if I don't do it, I become Wacky Wanda. :) Let's just keep hoping for some sun to warm our souls! :) Have a great Thursday!

    1. Ha ha! I was becoming a Wacky Wanda! You made me laugh! :)

  3. Oh so true! Great remindert ot us all to SWEAT!


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