Did you know that exercise is one of the best things you can do to relieve stress?
Exercise  floods your body with feel-good endorphins, lifting your mood and combatting the negative effects of stress. It also provides a singular activity to focus on, which will help to clear anxiety and stressful thoughts from your mind—offering benefits similar to meditation.
You’ll find that doing a workout can help you feel a whole lot better in just a short time!
Here are a few of the best stress-relieving workouts you can do to lift your mood and banish your anxiety:
Yoga – Yoga is an amazing workout not only for your body, but for your mind as well! The physical aspects of the Yoga training harness all the muscles in your body, forcing you to work hard, develop strength and endurance, and strengthen your core power. The mental aspects, however, are what really help to combat stress.
During a Yoga session, you’ll focus on your breathing and be more mindful of both your physical and mental states. This combination does wonders to lower your blood pressure and heart rate, as well as combat stress. Whether you’re a newbie or an advanced Yoga practitioner, the benefits are there for you with every workout!
High Intensity Interval Training – Interval training pushes you to work out at higher intensity for many short periods, enabling you to get a better workout in half the time. The great thing about high-intensity training is that it floods your body with a massive dose of feel-good endorphins when you push your body to its absolute limits. You’ll feel your mood lift, your energy levels skyrocket, and your workouts become more efficient.
The best part is: you can turn any workout into a HIIT training session easily! For example, if you’re going to run, try sprinting for 30 seconds every 1-2 minutes. If you’re lifting weights, try lifting lighter weight but going full-intensity for 30 seconds, with 90 seconds of rest between. Or just go from one muscle group to another without taking a rest, pushing your body to its limits. You’ll finish the workout in a fraction of the time and feel amazing as a result!
Resistance Training – Even if you don’t want to go max intensity, just the simple act of lifting weights can do wonders to decrease stress . Resistance training has been proven to have “anxiolytic effects”, providing you with a simple means of combatting anxiety in your daily life. By focusing on the exercise, you remove all the anxious and stressed thoughts from your mind, and you’re fully concentrated on what you’re doing. By the time your workout ends, your mind is calmer and you are far less stressed when you were before walking into the gym.
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Kickboxing – Kickboxing is another high-intensity form of exercise that will flood your body with endorphins, lifting your mood and helping to banish stress. Learning self-defense can boost your confidence and enhance your mental focus, all while providing you with a high-intensity outlet for your pent-up stress.
Take a Walk – Studies have proven that walking, even just for a few minutes , can make a huge difference for your stress levels. Getting out into the fresh air, being around nature, and doing some light physical activity will do wonders to elevate your mood. Walking is also very meditative—it’s a repeated motion that engages your body and helps your mind to relax.
If you’re feeling stressed, walk it out. Go for a short stroll on your lunch break, in the afternoon, or after dinner when you need to relax in the evening. Just getting out of the house will be an amazing way to separate yourself from the stressors of your daily life.
Dancing – There is no doubt that dancing is one of the most enjoyable forms of exercise. You’ve got upbeat music, you’ve got fun, and it’s an incredibly creative form of physical expression. If you’re doing synchronized or choreographed dance, it also gives you a pattern to focus on, which will clear your mind of all other thoughts.
Dancing is also an amazing workout. Just an hour or two on the dance floor, and you’ll burn a lot of calories, activate your cardiovascular system, and develop serious lower body endurance. Best of all, it’s so much fun you’ll barely feel the “workout” of it all!
Stretching – Stretching isn’t really a “workout”, but it is vital for your fitness. Mobility is a crucial pillar of fitness, and one that people tend to neglect. The more limber and mobile you are, the less likely you are to injure yourself while moving around—during your workout, during the day, or in your activities of daily life.
Stretching can also help to banish stressful thoughts from your mind. As you settle into the stretches and focus on your breath and the tension in your body, you also settle into a meditative mindset that will help you to relax. You’ll walk away from the stretching session exponentially less anxious and stressed, feeling much better in both body and mind.
A few simple workouts, but what a difference they can make for your stressful life! Add at least one of these activities into your daily routine, and you’ll find that stress no longer has such a potent grip on your mind and body.
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