'I'm a PT. Here's exactly what workout you should try according to your mood today.'

Self-medicating via the gym isn’t what it sounds like. Well it is kinda, but I’m talking less about prescriptions and more about push-ups. I’m talking about when you’re having one of those days and you just need an outlet for your pent-up rage/frustration/irritation/adulation. 

The following advice is based solely on my own experience self-medicating via the gym and (perhaps by pure coincidence) remaining a relatively sane functioning adult. (Please note, I’m not diminishing the importance of actual professional assistance.)

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Prescription for: overthinking take 1 x dance class.

Or any kind of exercise that requires concentration (Pilates is another option). 

For the briefest period your mind will be otherwise occupied, giving you at the very least some distance from your thoughts and a shot of endorphins. 

Plus, you’ve exercised for the day. And doesn’t the world just seem like a rosier place after a tap-ball-change-ra-cha-cha? 

Prescription for: rage, take 1 x weightlifting session.

Forget pre-trainer to put a pep in your step before your weightlifting session… a scoop of rage will do the trick. 

If you’re absolutely seething, a legal outlet to simmer down is to lift some heavy weights on the gym floor.

Prescription for: feeling low, take 1 x group fitness class.

Feeling BLERGH? Then it’s time for an uplifting group fitness class.

Get lost in the music, the energy of the people around you and lean into the silly fun of the woo-hoo’s and high-fives. Put it this way – you won’t feel any worst at the end! 


Prescription for: brain fog, take 1 x cycle class.

Brain fog, stuck for ideas or need to mull over a problem? A mindless activity like a cycle class or jumping on the treadmill could help clarify your thoughts.

I’ve taken my fair share of this medication and it almost always works. I don’t know if it’s something to do with more oxygen pumping around your brain or the change of scenery that helps you think differently. 

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Prescription for: annoyed as f**k, take 1 x yoga class.

The mental effect that the focused breathing yoga is famous for is a sure antidote to your irritation. 

There's a reason you're told to “take a deep breath” when you’re losing your s**t. That injection of oxygen helps calm your nerves and, for a brief moment, focus your attention on breath rather than whatever (or whoever) is annoying you.

Prescription for: Groundhog Day, take 1 x something new! 

Routine is good, especially when it comes to adherence to your fitness routine, but it can be less than inspiring if you have been doing the same thing for what for what feels like forever. 

Time to shake it up: try a new group fitness class, hire the services of a personal trainer or even something as simple as exercising at a different time of the day could be enough to re-inspire you.

Prescription for: energised, take 7 x anything! 

When it comes to your workout and you feel AH-MAZING, you gotta milk that energy for all it’s worth – we know these days don’t come around often. 

So if you do happen to be having one of these unicorn days, supercharge your workout with the goals you have been trying to achieve. Is your goal to do a push-up on your toes? Try it today. Is your goal running on the treadmill an extra  five minutes? Try it today. Is your goal to squat an extra 5kg? Then you know what to do damn it! 

As you can see, there really is a workout for every mood. 

Marie has been a fitness industry professional since 2005 and currently owns 12RND Fitness in Canberra. She is a qualified Personal Trainer, Les Mills group fitness instructor, and CrossFit coach. You can follow her on Instagram.

Feature Image: Getty / Mamamia

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