Unemployment is painful, but it can provide exercise motivation. If you’re out of work, physical activity may help you get through a difficult time and give you the energy you need to carve out a new livelihood.
Exercise has always been a powerful tool for stress management, and that’s just what the long-term unemployed need. At least 11 percent of the long-term unemployed sought professional help for depression last year according to a study at Rutgers University. While exercise can’t replace medical care, it can help people cope with minor depression and anxiety. Movement increases the flow of endorphins, those feel-good neurotransmitters that your brain produces naturally. They’re the active ingredient in a runner’s high, and they kick in during just about any vigorous workout. As exercise improves your mood, it helps to protect you from sleep and appetite problems that often accompany depression. You avoid that vicious circle where you feel blue because you’re run down, and you’re run down because you feel blue.
It’s also easier to make a better impression on your next boss or client when you stay fit. Take a morning run before your interview, and you’ll show up looking more vibrant. Being in sound physical condition improves your self confidence. That confidence will help you stay connected and work your network. Otherwise, job loss can cause isolation if feelings of embarrassment lead you to withdraw, which only sabotages your job hunt.
On a lighter note, you may even enjoy a better relationship with your phone. So much of job hunting is online these days. You send out applications, and then you’re glued to your phone waiting for a response that may never come. It’s no wonder you start to dread just looking at the screen. Free fitness apps are one way to fix that problem and keep your spirits up while you wait.
Remember, you’re not alone. Long term unemployment has swelled to 5.4 million. Stay fit and contact us for more free and fun exercise ideas.