Personal trainer reveals the best workout to do according to your mood

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·Features and Health Editor
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We already know that physical activity is intrinsically linked to our mental wellbeing - but if you often think 'I'm not in the mood for a workout' we might have something for you.

Feeling a lack of motivation or dealing with other emotions like sadness or anger might generally not make you want to strap on those running shoes, but as personal trainer Sam Merza, National Fitness Manager of Genesis Health + Fitness, explains perhaps leaning into that emotion is exactly what we should be doing.

Woman warming up for yoga class with other students in studio
Use your mood to fuel a workout. Photo: Getty

"There’s a workout for every mood, the key is listening to your body and what will feel good," Sam tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

"Most of us have a playlist for different moods, so why not have a go-to workout for different moods?"


Here, Sam shares how to you can listen to your mood to determine the best kind of workout for you.


"When we’re angry, we experience higher levels of adrenalin coursing through us, it can help to let off steam and channel this anger into burpees, push-ups and jumping jacks. However we need to be careful when angry that we are being mindful of our safety and not engaging in anything too strenuous. 

A study published by Harvard of nearly 12,500 people from 52 countries who had experienced a first-time heart attack, found the risk of heart attack was three times higher for people who recalled being angry or emotionally upset while also engaging in strenuous exercise! If you’re angry and need to let off steam, but don’t want to overdo it, going for a quick run or a short boxing workout without overdoing it may help! 

Steer away from lifting weights or anything where the risk of injury is higher if distracted.

Workout: Boxing, running


If you’re feeling anxious, going for a run can put the body into 'flight' causing the body to mimic symptoms of panic (short breath) and cause the mind to pick up the pace with anxious or racing thoughts as well. 

If you’re feeling anxious, slow and steady workouts are better suited. Introducing some of your favourite music is also a great aid.

Workout: Pilates, yoga, breathing exercises, meditation, walking


On days when dragging yourself out of bed sounds like a struggle, the best way to exercise is doing some social cardio workouts! When it comes to fighting depression, aerobic and cardio exercises have been shown to be most effective. If you can get some socialising in too, even better! We all need connection in these times. 

Don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t up to your normal workout routines. If you’ve been struggling to get the motivation to get back into exercise for a while and it feels overwhelming, start small. Start by breaking it down into tiny steps and for the first few days simply commit to putting your gym gear on. Making small steps in the right direction and building back up slowly is the best way to get back into the swing of things.

Workout: Walk or run with a friend, join a workout online


If you’re already feeling good before your workout, do something you love and make the most of it! Learning some new dance moves, kicking a football with a friend, walking in your favourite park, or joining a local online Zumba class might be the way to go!

Workout: Anything you love!


Feeling zen and want to keep it that way? Activities like pilates offer the perfect whole body workout that is slow and focused while working muscles you didn’t know you had! It’s also a great time to do workouts that require more focus and attention to detail – like stretching and really zoning in on your muscles or trying a tricky aerobics class that required your brain to keep up with complicated step routines. Given you’re relaxed, you’ll find it easier to focus on the task at hand.

Workout: Pilates, stretch, aerobics

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