It’s been established that exercise can enhance your mood. But does being in a good mood increase the likelihood that you’ll exercise in the first place?

Researchers at Bowling Green University designed a study to answer that question. Thirty-six obese participants in a behavioral weight-loss program recorded their morning, evening, and pre- and post-exercise moods. They also recorded the type, duration, and intensity of their exercise. The findings were clear. People who recorded better moods in the morning were more likely to exercise that day.

If you find yourself feeling positive in the morning, grab the opportunity to exercise right then. It’ll make you feel better for the rest of the day. And while you’re at it, up the intensity – even if just for 15 seconds every couple of minutes. The researchers found that those who exercised more frequently and at greater intensity had the greatest increases in mood. The highest mood ratings came from those participants who exercised the longest and at the highest intensities.

[Ed. Note: Dr. Jonny Bowden is a nationally known expert on weight loss, nutrition, and health. He’s the author of the new book The Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth . For more information, go to www.jonnybowden.com.]