Stress is not just a mental issue, it can also manifest in physical ways. Chronic stress is often the main issue behind weight gain, heart disease, depression and high blood pressure. It can also cause headaches, back pain, and insomnia. Often, when stressed people overeat and lounge around as they find it hard to motivate themselves. But, one of the best ways to beat stress is to work out. Below are six exercises to beat stress by using your mind and body together.
Yoga is a low impact strength training exercise. The workout helps to build flexibility, resilience and muscle strength. However, one of the best benefits of yoga for stress is the mental focus required to hold your form and breathe correctly. As focus is a key skill to help manage your stress levels, yoga can be the perfect exercise to help you wind down. Yoga can be done at home with minimal equipment, and is also offered at multiple gyms.
If you have a backyard or front garden, gardening could be the perfect stress reliever for you. Not only is gardening mostly low impact, but it requires concentration, so your mind has a break from the stress. Weeding can also burn up to 200 calories per hour, and raking leaves can burn up to 600 calories. As an added bonus, many people find the connection to earth refreshing, allowing them to feel relaxed.
As an intense workout, circuit training is a great way to distract yourself from stress. Even better, most circuit training workouts are short, so they are easy to fit into your day. Many gyms offer an easy circuit for users or you can create your own routine at home using basic equipment. The high-intensity workout also helps your body produce endorphins, helping to boost your mood while relieving stress.
Walking is perhaps the easiest exercise option to relieve stress, as it requires no additional equipment. Simply, head outside and walk around your neighborhood, park or along the water. Getting outside and walking will help you to clear your head while also offering many health benefits. Those who frequently go on walks of 30 minutes or more, also have lower blood pressure, and find it easier to maintain weight. Walking also helps to release tension from your entire body, allowing the stress to fade away while you exercise.
Dancing is a high-intensity workout that builds cardio, strength and agility. However, it also helps to relieve stress and boost your mood. As a fun workout, you can simply dance your heart out in your living room to your favorite songs. Or, you could join a dance class. Dance classes, especially ballroom, salsa or swing can help your mind refocus and relax while also being a fun social activity.
Similar to yoga, pilates requires focus. As much of the workout is focused on body alignment, core strength and body awareness, you must be present throughout. Pilates can also help relieve neck and back tension, which are often side effects of stress. There are two types of pilates; reformer and floor. Reformer pilates is a class-only type of workout as it requires specialized equipment. However, floor pilates is easy to do at home via virtual classes.
So, next time you start to feel overwhelmed, use one of the above exercises to help you beat the stress. These exercises not only help you manage your stress in a healthy way, but can also help you to stay on your health and fitness journey. Get those endorphins pumping today and relax your mind.