Everyone knows that exercise is good for you. But did you know that it is the easiest way to feeling of well-being and a physical glow? Whilst you may not feel like exercising when you’re stressed, it is actually one of the best ways to combat stress.
Exercise reduces the amount of your body’s stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol. It also helps release endorphins. These are chemicals in the brain that are the body’s natural painkillers and mood boosters.
If you notice, you feel “high”, after a workout. This is because of the endorphins. They are also responsible for the feelings of relaxation and optimism following a physical activity.
Here are 6 of the best exercises that can de-stress your body and mind:
Originated in India, yoga is a relaxation exercise that involves a series of both moving and stationary poses that come with deep breathing. It has been known to improve flexibility, strength, balance and stamina. And aside from these, yoga can reduce stress and anxiety. This exercise brings together physical and mental disciplines that may help you achieve peacefulness of body and mind.
This Ancient Chinese tradition is practiced today as a graceful form of exercise. It involves a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner and also comes with deep breathing. Growing evidence suggest that it can treat or prevent many health problems. You can even get started even if you’re not in your best condition.
Another from the Ancient Chinese, qigong synchronises precise physical movements with specific breathing techniques to improve health. Aside from strengthening and healing the body, it also improves mood, decrease stress, cortisol levels, anxiety and depression.
Just as simple as walking can be a great stress reliever. Walking and other cardiovascular exercises boost endorphins, thus reducing stress and alleviating mild depression. Tip: Take a walk in a park. A UK study says that walking through green spaces can calm your brain.
Pilates uses the principles of breathing, relaxation, concentration, imagery, body awareness and mindfulness. This technique can soothe your tense muscles through gentle stretching and gradual conditioning. There’s an energetic jumpboard workout that helps metabolise stress hormones in your muscles. There are also fascial release techniques that help relax tight muscles that do not respond to passive stretching. Because you get to shake that stress off physically, you also get to shake it off mentally.
Dancing is also a form of physical activity. It improves mobility and muscle coordination and relieves tension in your body. Emotionally, it can be a great way to lift your spirits and help you feel more confident and relaxed when you want to step out. So if you’re feeling tense or stressed out, grab a partner, turn up the music, and dance!
Whether you’re out of shape or not, a little exercise can go a long way towards stress management. Find forms of exercise that you enjoy. You can attend workout classes and group activities. Or if you’re more of an introvert type, you can go solo and play music while exercising.
Don’t let stress beat you. Instead, beat stress with exercise!