Whenever the poor PNW weather strikes, I'm feeling stressed out, depressed, unmotivated or just plain strained for time, I hit the gym for a routine class (RIPPED, HIIT, Boot Camp and Kickboxing are my staples). I find that if I just make it to the gym, I will always stay for the duration of the class I am attending. The support and comradery of the other members in class, give me a sense of accountability. The members of the gym motivate one another and provide the support we all need to complete the workout when it seems like a unimaginable hurdle for the day.
I have found that exercising and being able to sweat on a daily basis, improves my mood and outlook on life and I feel an overall decrease in both stress and life challenges that seemed so overwhelming prior to me entering the gym for the day. Low to moderate intensity exercise elevates my mood, reducing my anxiety, depression and stress. More specifically, exercise, particularly mind-body and low-intensity aerobic exercise, has been shown to have a positive impact on the symptoms of depression and PTSD (Cohen & Shamus 2009).