Stress – quite a familiar word these days, isn’t it?
Whether it’s work, kids, or your partner – everything contributes to stress. And undoubtedly, it can be tiring and mentally exhausting. It sucks out your energy to finish the rest of your day or commence with a new one.
All of us have a different coping mechanism when it comes to stress. It could be gaming, gardening, painting, or talking to your friends.
However, the ideal way to beat stress is – that’s right – EXERCISE!
Let’s look into the ten best activities that you can regularly do to relieve stress.
How Can Exercise Relieve My Stress?
Exercise can help you put stress aside in numerous ways. But, in order to understand how it does, it’s essential to know what’s happening in your body when you’re under pressure.
The neurochemical basis of this phenomenon is quite simple. Stress stimulates the release of cortisol (the stress-causing hormone) and adrenaline (the fight-or-flight hormone). These hormones are the ones driving your stress and are the main culprits behind your anxious behaviour and inability to perform well.
Moreover, exercising also causes the release of endorphins that are known as happy neurotransmitters. Therefore, when you exercise, there’s a significant decrease in the levels of these hormones. Conversely, as their levels increase, you feel better about yourself and in control of the situation you’re stuck in.
Beat The Stress With These 10 Exercises!
Now that you are fully aware of stress – it’s about time you took back the charge. Stress does not only ruin your ability to get done with the tasks, but it also makes you doubt yourself and your capabilities.
To avoid problems, it’s best to knock the stress with the following exercises:
1. Brisk Walking
Let’s begin with the easiest one of them all – walking. But we walk every day, right? So why are we still stressed then? Well, brisk walking and just moving from one corner to get a task done is different.
Brisk walking allows you to use your muscles better but prevents you from tiring out. It’s known that people with a proper walking regimen can cope with their stress better and are healthier as well, both mentally and physically.
Brisk walking is the ideal way to get started on this mission of beating stress.
2. Tai Chi
Tai chi is a series of self-paced fluid body movements and heavily promotes serenity through various moves. Originally tai chi was an ancient internal Chinese form of martial arts used for meditation, health purposes, and more. However, it is also known to increase flexibility and calm those stress levels down.
Tai chi puts minimal pressure on the muscles and joints, making it accessible to all ages. So if you are looking for something refreshing, then tai chi might be for you!
Pilates is also a physical fitness system developed in the early 20th century. It aids in the treatment of depression and anxiety. However, it is not solely designed just to strengthen the muscles and improve body balance.
If you wish to build a self-care routine, you expect a noticeable change after reinforcing this in your life. You’ll feel your mental state sharpening and experience better performance.
Concentrating on your breathing and good thinking will definitely switch the stressed mode into a better one.
Yoga is an activity that we hear most fitness gurus talk about. The main reason is that yoga consists mainly of postures and can gradually increase your joints’ flexibility.
Yoga focuses on meditation and breathing techniques which can help one distress. Studies have shown that people who consistently perform yoga have a higher chance of lowering stress levels.
Not only that, but you’ll also be able to lose some of those pounds as yoga is an effective tool for weight loss.
Suppose there is one thing that almost everybody enjoys doing is; dancing. Dance often has categorised movements, and specific choreographies help us detect the mood of each form.
For many people, dancing serves as a perfect way to relieve their stress. This is because dancing helps the brain release endorphins- chemicals that act as natural painkillers. It also improves our ability to sleep, meaning reduced stress levels.
So the next time you feel stressed, hit your jam and dance the stress away!
6. HIIT Workout
HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) is a combination of high-intensity bursts of cardio exercise followed by long or equal rests.
An example of a HIIT workout would be 50 to 90 seconds of squats after warming up, followed by slow jogging. Along with lower risks of heart diseases, it reduces signs of stress, anxiety, and various other problems associated with stress.
Swimming is the best form of exercise on this list. Since you need to move your body against the water’s resistance, it proves to be an all-rounder activity.
Furthermore, it keeps your heart rate in check, lowers the chances of stress, and keeps you active throughout. Swimming is definitely the perfect stress relief exercise if you love water in general.
Kickboxing is about combat that mainly includes kicking and punching. It also helps you release endorphins and reduce anxiety and stress levels.
On top of that, you’ll notice your waistline shrinking!
9. Outdoor Activities
Outdoor activities such as biking and walking may seem insignificant, but they largely contribute to one’s stable mental health.
Being in the fresh air is most likely to result in increased blood circulation to the brain, release of good hormones such as serotonin – which are responsible for making you feel happy, and just an overall sense of well-being.
Qigong is also an ancient Chinese healing exercise that includes proper breathing and meditation. Mainly referred to as Asian yoga that has been around for thousands of years.
It involves slow movements that the Chinese and Asia recognise as a healing and rhythmic practice that cultivates balance and brings energy.
Trails have indicated that qigong is effective when it comes to dealing with pressure and stress. It enhances your health all over and maintains blood pressure.
It’s OK to stress because – let’s get real for a while – it gets a lot of our tasks done. But stressing about everything, even the minor problems, is not healthy at all.
You can either pick one exercise and start with that or try a combination of these exercises. Making a plan, and dedicating a particular slot to these exercises, can help you curb the stress.
Moreover, if you’re starting a fitness program to beat stress, it’d be best to consult a professional and get their opinion as well.