By Gabe Sanders PhD, NSCA-CSCS
What type of mood are you in today? Have you ever stopped to assess if you are feeling tense, depressed, angry, vigorous, fatigued, or confused? If you haven’t, perhaps you might benefit from knowing your mood state and here is why.
Your mood state is influenced by the “weekend effect”
Research suggests that an individual’s mood state is influenced by the day of the week. This phenomenon is termed the “weekend effect.”
The weekend effect is the notion that a person’s mood is more positive and less negative on the weekends (Friday evening through Sunday afternoon) when compared to other days of the week.
You may be thinking to yourself, “heck yeah, I work for the weekend!” While most people feel excited or relieved once Friday comes, there are other ways to improve your mood state.
Mood can be altered
Research suggests that a person’s mood can be altered, indirectly, due to increases in sleep and /or greater levels of physical activity behavior which in turn improves mood as these levels increase.
If you are health conscious, it is possible to monitor if your mood or physical activity levels alter your sleep. New wearable wrist-worn fitness trackers are available at most technology retailers and online. Some of these devices can monitor both your physical activity and sleep behavior.
While it may be difficult to ascertain a cause and effect change between physical activity, sleep and mood here is one way you can check and see if your mood, activity, and sleep are influencing one another.
Purchase a fitness tracker
Once you have purchased a device, do the following:
- Wear the device constantly for one to two weeks, and pay attention to both your physical activity and sleep behavior as it is measured with the device.
- Identify what activities you do on days when your physical activity is greater and your sleep quality is better.
- Identify what days of the week you are more active and sleep better.
- Once you are familiar with your activity and sleep, ask yourself if you are feeling tense, depressed, angry, vigorous, fatigued, or confused
- Lastly, anecdotally assess if there is a relationship between your mood and activity.
Because greater levels of physical activity and exercise can improve your sleep and your mood, find ways to exercise and be physically active every day.
*Before starting an exercise regimen, consult with your physician and/or healthcare provider.
**For more examples of other variations/exercises look under Multimedia-VDF Exercise Tips
For a reliable and accurate product, Polar is it! This is a fitness tracker device that is awesome!
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Ryan RM, Berstein JH, and Brown KW. Weekends, Work, and Well-being: Psychological Need Satisfactions and Day of the Week Effects on Mood, Vitality, and Physical Symptoms. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology 29: 95-122, 2010.
Wong ML, Lau EY, Wan JH, Cheung SF, Hui CH, and Mok DS. The interplay between sleep and mood in predicting academic functioning, physical health and psychological health: a longitudinal study. J Psychosom Res 74: 271-277, 2012