To protect against bad moods and stress, exercise regularly. A 30-minute walk most days of the week can help prevent negativity and stress.
Picture this: You had a long day, but now, as you’re grooving to your music and breathing in the smell of fresh-cut grass as you walk through the park, you feel your stress (and that afternoon cookie) melt away. “Exercise is not only for losing weight and looking better. It helps you feel better mentally,” says Melissa Hendricks, M.Ed, manager of the Cleveland Clinic Fitness Centers. “People who exercise moderately for at least 30 minutes a day tend to have more overall energy throughout the day, handle stressful situations better, and sleep more restfully. Combined, all of these can help you perform your daily tasks more efficiently and with better results,” she says. The fact that physical activity fends off stress is nothing new. But newer research suggests that exercise also stimulates the creation of new brain connections that help induce calm even in the face of stress. Since motivating yourself to exercise during a period of high stress or anxiety can be a challenge, says Hendricks, try using exercise as a way to calm your mind and body. “Walking, yoga and tai chi are all great physical activities that can help you feel more calm and less anxious.”