do you guys ever cry while working out?

this is a phenomenon I have talked to therapists and doctors about many times. they say they haven't heard of this. no one has ever had this issue, or so it seems. i get a "runner's low" and feel extremely depressed while working out. i hate the gym because it makes me feel self conscious and i dont like having all the other people working out look at me. as a result, i leave the gym more depressed than when i came.

i hate that people say when you are sad you should exercise. IMO, exercising while sad makes you sadder. why is that? if i wait it out and just go online or something when i am sad, i feel better. but going to work out when i am feeling low just makes me feel like im being bullied in 6th grade or something--it is that same hopeless sensation. this sucks -_-


  • JustMissTracy
    JustMissTracy Posts: 6,339 Member
    I think you need to deal with the bigger issue of the root cause of your sadness, it's not the exercise that's causing it. If you find you are feeling overly self conscious at the gym, maybe it's time to try some home workouts for awhile, until you feel you have your groove. Good luck, I can only suggest talking to a therapist or doctor, but you've said you've done that. Maybe time for a new therapist?
  • catt952
    catt952 Posts: 190 Member
    it's definitely mental. could be depression. do you eat enough to have energy to workout? blood tests are normal not anemic?
  • RoxieDawn
    RoxieDawn Posts: 15,491 Member
    edited November 2015
    Yep, there is a deep seated and rooted issue with the sadness. It becomes more prevalent during exercise in which you hate and as stated make you feel more self conscious..

    The more you exercise the more you should start to feel stronger (both inside and out) and more confident.. not sad, not depressed or anxious.. This is especially true if your are reaping the benefits of exercise to feel better, feel healthier (or are healthier) and even look better...

    There was a guy that posted this same question on MFP several months ago, and once he opened up, we found out he lost his wife to a tragic accident.. and it was recent within months that he started to go down the health kick..

    So do not feel you have to air out what the issue is, it is remotely possible it is something that happened recently or a very long time ago.. the release happened during exercise only..
  • rr430rd
    rr430rd Posts: 13 Member
    Yes. I cried a bit today. I was so thoroughly exhausted with the week. Didn't get to bed early enough, school stress, work stress, 5th day of gym in a row. It overcame me. But... I figured crying cause the workout was brutal was better than any other reason. I didn't feel better after but at least it got done.
  • Lounmoun
    Lounmoun Posts: 8,427 Member
    I usually feel better/less stressed after some exercise. That is one of the reasons I exercise. It doesn't erase sadness but I feel able to handle things better.
    I exercise at home. Maybe you need to get your exercise in a different environment where you feel more private and safe for now or go for a walk outside. There are lots of free workout videos on You Tube.

    What makes one person feel better doesn't necessarily make another person feel better. When you feel sad or stressed maybe you could try meditation or listening to music for awhile.
  • nightangelstars
    nightangelstars Posts: 337 Member
    I second what everyone else has said, with a couple additional caveats/suggestions. One, what do you eat before you work out and have you talked to a doctor about this? If you are on a low-carb diet, your body might be experiencing a sugar crash when you exercise and that exacerbates feelings of sadness, lethargy and depression like no one's business.

    Two, have you talked to your therapist about what thoughts are coming up for you while you do this? Many therapists are supportive, which is great but you need a cognitive-behavioral therapist to help you probe those thoughts for the "root cause" of your worsening depression and self-criticism at the gym. Not all therapists are equally good at dealing with all problems, unfortunately. You can try recording your thoughts on your own to see if there's a trend - as you mentioned the self-consciousness, I'd bet it has to do with how you think others are looking at you. Learning to challenge those thoughts can be difficult, and in the meantime trying a workout at home (or even outside in the dark, if you have a safe space for that and your schedule works) might help you parse out whether it's truly exercise that's the cause, or whether it's more to do with other factors you can potentially work on separately.

    Good luck!!
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 46,321 Member
    I've cried when I've dropped a 10lb weight on my foot. ;)

    As mentioned, it could be depression and that should be addressed by a therapist.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,993 Member
    I don't think exercise is the issue...there are other deep seeded issues going on here that need to be dealt with.

    also, if it helps, people aren't looking at you in the gym...people are working out. I'm barely aware of the people around me when I'm working out because I'm focused on my work...most gym junkies are the same.
  • distinctlybeautiful
    distinctlybeautiful Posts: 1,041 Member
    I've cried at the gym before, but it wasn't because I was working out. I was just having a tough time with some other stuff and couldn't get it off my mind. Do you get this same feeling when you exercise in privacy, like in your home? I wonder if it's not the running but the presence of other people making you feel self-conscious and then depressed.
  • sardelsa
    sardelsa Posts: 9,826 Member
    Sometimes I cry after a super intense HIIT session.. just because my body is at it's absolute max, kind of an emotional response. But it doesn't sound like the same issue in your case.. maybe speaking to someone might help. Good luck
  • 47Jacqueline
    47Jacqueline Posts: 6,998 Member
    I sometimes cry at the end of a run. I'm not low, though. I think a lot of pent up emotions get released from focusing on a single thing - like mediation. I can also raise my mood by working out. It's a great mood elevator for me. I've had people comment on it if they've seen me before and after.
  • MelodyandBarbells
    MelodyandBarbells Posts: 7,594 Member
    I do not have that issue

    But I notice when it comes to working out, you mention the gym. Don't get me wrong, I'm pretty much a gym rat and love my classes. It doesn't have to all be the gym. It can be a walk/run, alone or with friends, swimming, yoga. Just think of any number of things you like to do and see if you can't get moving doing one of them

    Not to dismiss any underlying psychological issues. Either way I wish you the best figuring this out
  • fidangul
    fidangul Posts: 673 Member
    I think in the gym while your body is hard at work your mind is free to linger where it feels like. And if you have something "bugging" you, you could over think about it and emotions can rise. It has happened to me once before. I was going through some tough time and I broke down in the gym. Bless everyone there they were so concerned, but I just felt so embarassed even more so that I couldn't stop the tears.

    I agree with the suggestions made to get to the root of the problem. But also if you hate the gym so much why put yourself through that. Get some DVDs or go online. There are plenty of other options until you do feel more comfortable. And even if you still don't that's fine too.

  • scr183
    scr183 Posts: 49 Member
    edited November 2015
    I think exercise can definitely induce a pretty intense catharsis -- I've experienced it too. But I often find that if I embrace it and keep going, once I ride it out and work through it, I feel immensely better. In my case, though, it's usually tied to something specific that I'm struggling with and not a general sense of anxiety or sadness, which could certainly make a difference.

    As others have said, if it's not serving you, or if you feel there's more to it than that, I'd keep pursuing the dialogue with therapists, etc. If you hate the gym and the act of going in itself causes anxiety or depression, that's certainly not the only place you can get a good workout -- and if just the act of working out is a problem for you right now, then you don't even need to do that if losing weight is your goal. A caloric deficit is all you need. I wish you all the best, whatever you do.

    ETA: It's not something I experience regularly, and it sounds like you do, so again -- ultimately I think you'll have to sort out the root cause. Best to you.
  • arditarose
    arditarose Posts: 15,575 Member
    Yeah, I've cried. But not because exercise makes me sad. I've cried from being overwhelmed, or happy, or tired of my deficit, and one time I took too much pwo.
  • bubble_wrap0428
    bubble_wrap0428 Posts: 88 Member
    I don't think it's the exercising doing this, it's definitely your mental state. You need to stop worrying about others and focus on yourself. A good way describe what your doing is "how do you know if someone is staring at you if you're not staring at them?".
  • 2020pinktogo
    2020pinktogo Posts: 3,444 Member
    I have a treadmill at home and when I am extremely stressed out when I hit the 2 mile mark so do the tears come but I push through it and it seems to release all the stress and I feel great afterwards. It's better than hitting a bag of cookies.
  • lifeandleaves
    lifeandleaves Posts: 103 Member
    Sometimes I used to get a bit tearful on the treadmill, crosstrainer or during any long bits of cardio. It wasn't that I was particularly sad, I just would suddenly get quite emotional and then tear up. It was a bit bizzare, but not connected to any insecurity or feelings of worthlessness.

    It sounds like you are not happy in other areas of your life, and this is being magnified by exercise. Exercise should ultimately be a positive and empowering experience, not something that makes you feel ashamed or sad. This unhealthy relationship with exercise could lead down a dangerous road.

    Have you considered writing down your thoughts just like you have hear and taking these to a counsellor? It isn't so much that you're crying during a workout, but that you're feeling very low during fitness.
  • kisses71213
    kisses71213 Posts: 97 Member
    what ever happened to good old fashioned nature walks/jogs? It's one of the best ways to make yourself feel better and get in shape!!