People usually exercise for a reason. Whether you’re trying to cut some weight, achieve a goal, or have more energy during the day, your workout routine will vary depending on your objectives.
We’re going to talk about exercising to relieve stress in this article. Our goal is to give you some useful tips to incorporate into your stress relief workout. Hopefully, you’ll have a more effective routine after reading the article.
Let’s get right into it:
7 Exercises for Your Stress Relief Workout
Stress comes at us from all over the place. Our jobs, families, partners, friends, society, and media can all cause stress throughout the day. Sometimes all of these factors come at us at once.
Additionally, our lifestyle habits can cause or amplify stress. When we do our part to combat stress, though, we can greatly improve the quality of our lives. It’s impossible to block all stressors out of our lives, but we can do our part to make sure we’re ready for them when they appear.
The first place to start is through exercise. Exercise releases endorphins, improves oxygen circulation to the brain, boosts self-confidence, and provides a semi-meditative practice to engage in. All of these things culminate to decrease stress and improve your response to it.
Let’s look at some of the most effective exercises to use in your battle against stress:
1. Any Form of Cardio
Any time your heart rate accelerates for an extended period of time, your body will increase the number of endorphins it releases. Endorphins are the chemical the body releases that gives you the “runner’s high” or positive feeling once the workout is done.
The nice thing about using cardio is that you aren’t bound to any particular kind. You can go running, swimming, dancing, cycling, walking, or anything else you can think of. So long as your heart rate gets up and stays up for a time, your stress will be reduced.
We understand that “lifting” is a broad term. Resistance and strength training, though, are excellent ways to boost endorphins and relieve stress.
Exerting muscular energy can also be a cathartic way to release your stress. People tend to vent stress in unhealthy ways (yelling in the car, smoking cigarettes, ignoring it all together, etc.), but lifting weights is a healthy way to vent and attack stress from multiple angles.
Yoga is a practice that can attack stress specifically, using different exercises to address particular muscles. Yoga is also an effective way to attack stress from a mental perspective.
Because it is a mind-body exercise, yoga can be used to improve both physical and mental responses to stress. Further, the practice of yoga allows vast room for exploration and depth.
We should use this as an opportunity to talk a little bit about meditation as well. While meditation isn’t usually seen as an exercise, it still relates to the physical body in a way that is therapeutic.
Meditation, generally speaking, is the practice of sitting calmly and focusing on the breath. There are numerous methods used to meditate, but a common goal is the stilling and relaxation of the mind through mindful breathing.
Regular practice can generate a sense of calmness, equanimity, and the ability to approach stress with a level head.
5. Tai Chi
Tai Chi is a practice that was initially created for self-defense. While you can take courses in Tai Chi that are geared toward self-defense, you can also find ones that are more inclined to relieve stress and focus your mind.
In much the same way as yoga, Tai Chi offers a way to move your body, focus on your breath, and concentrate the mind. These factors all contribute to stress relief in their own ways.
6. Get Out into Nature
An exercise “routine” can mean whatever you want it to. Your routine might be to regularly leave your immediate surroundings and explore a new state park or forest.
You may want to go hiking, fishing, climbing, or skiing. Getting outside relieves stress. Our minds get tired of the repetitive nature of life in society.
In fact, societal order can really constrict our experience and produce stress. People who work in cubicles, on night shifts, or at repetitive jobs can back us up on that one. Nature has been shown to relieve stress, even if you aren’t a huge fan of it at the time.
The verdict is still out on why, but the fact is that your mind and body thank you when you set foot into nature for an hour or two.
We suggest incorporating nature into your preexisting workout schedule. Go for a run through a park or take a walk along the river, for example. If you’re having a hard time getting motivated to work out, you can substitute a trip to a mountain for the hard work of lifting weights every day.
Even if you go fishing, you’ll experience some of the stress-relieving benefits of contact with nature.
7. Count Chores as Exercise
You don’t necessarily have to set time aside in order to exercise. There are some things you simply have to do around the house, and those things do technically count as a form of exercise.
So when you’re sweeping the floor or raking your leaves, don’t forget that you’re doing something physical and stress-relieving. If that isn’t enough incentive to get up and do the chores, we don’t know what is.
Those tasks are a form of light exercise, much like a light walk or swim. Additionally, you have the bonus of being able to get those things out of the way and off of your mind. Psychological stressors like dirty dishes and laundry can certainly nag at a person.
Checking items off of your to-do list while exercising is an excellent way to start your stress relief journey.
Need Some Help Relieving Stress?
If you’re having a hard time creating your stress relief workout, it may be time to work with a professional. Yoga classes offer valuable insight and practices that can attack stress from the core.
Explore our site if you’re ready to start experiencing the stress relief that yoga can offer.