In the March "Happiness" issue of Whole Living (on newsstands February 14), we interviewed former boxer Michael Olajide Jr. about how to fix a bad mood fast.
Not surprisingly, his solution is punching -- and jumping, and skipping -- away your aggression with an intensive plyometric workout.
What resulted from that interview was a really fun feature, and a really rewarding workout designed to help you "lighten up" and turn around a bad day.
Exercise + Music = Instant Good Mood
Besides exercise, we also know that music can have a big effect on your mood. (Not coincidentally, music can also have a big effect on your fitness performance, as well.) So it made sense that we also talk to someone who knows music -- and exercise -- to get his take on our "bad day" workout as well.
"While music can certainly add a little pizazz to your workout, it can also help keep you in the zone," Chris Lawhorn tells me. Lawhorn operates runhundred.com, a site that compiles music based on beats per minute and matches them to various workout activities. Each month, Lawhorn reviews and posts a few hundred new songs with good workout potential; you can even sign up to receive email notifications of new music.
We asked Lawhorn to give us some music that would both boost our mood and help get us through the jump rope workout designed for this story. "Namely, a conditioning jump rope workout generally requires 150-155 revolutions per minute," he explains. "To that end, you can use songs within a similar beats per minute (BPM) range to help keep you on track."
Here are a few samples Lawhorn put together, available for purchase from iTunes. Grab a jump rope, check out the workout, and give them a try -- and let us know how you feel afterward!
Jump-Rope Workout Playlist