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    Mood Check Before Fitness

    By Cinder Ernst–

    Your mood matters when it comes to how you approach fitness. It matters first and foremost, actually. Here’s why. The ideas that come to you when you are in a good mood are inspired and will allow you to act with ease. The ideas that come to you when you are in a less-than-good mood will take much more effort, willpower and motivation to implement. When something is hard to do, you are likely to stop early and not reach desired goals.

    The fitness industry is pretty much based on the less-than-good mood approach because worry is dominant in the mainstream wellness arena. Worry does not a good mood make. You might be worried about your health in some way and believe that exercise will save the day. Most advertising and marketing play right into your worries. Many people implement fitness plans from that state of worry and feel bad about themselves. Those plans are hard to stick to over time.

    You might think that you need motivation. How about the phrase “exercise compliance”? Yikes! Who wants to achieve that? You might not know that most gyms count on the fact that at least 50% of their paying members will not show up, or else they would be over-crowded.

    We’ve identified worry as an indicator of a less-than-good mood. Worry captures a lot of the bad mood territory. What other emotions might we find in this category? In addition to anxiety, feelings of sadness, anger, despair, revenge and hopelessness can also affect fitness. We all experience them, but just remember that you don’t have to change or fix the bad mood. Instead, resist the urge to act on an idea that was born from that less-than-good mood. Cultivate a sense of gratitude and purpose.

    When you get an idea, ask yourself, “What mood am I in or was I in when the idea came?” If you were in a good mood, go with the idea and let it play out. If you were in a less-than-good mood, table that idea for now. Wait for the next time that you are in a good mood and see what happens. Notice the difference. Start paying attention to what mood brings what result. The unintended yet wonderful side effect of this paying attention is that you will probably be in a good mood more often. Watch out: the next thing you know, you’ll be happy!

    Vitality is the state of being strong, active and having energy. Vitality is born out of a bunch of good mood moments stringing together the good ideas. When you are paying attention to your emotional guidance system, you will make better decisions for your body. My words will not prove this to you. Prove it to yourself.

    Cinder Ernst, Medical Exercise Specialist and Life Coach Extraordinaire, helps reluctant exercisers get moving with safe, effective and fun programs. Her book, “Easy Fitness for the Reluctant Exerciser” ( ), is available in paperback and E-book. She specializes in fitness and rehab for plus-size clients, but her stress-free approach is suitable for all. Find out more at