Stress is a problem that has entered into most people’s lives. Stress from office work, stress from personal life, and sometimes a mix-match of both – there can be many sources of stress. But just like sources, there can be many solutions to stress. And one of the most effective solutions is stress relieving exercises.
It is better to take care of stress as soon as you start experiencing it. Otherwise, it can lead to heart disorders, mental health problems, and other physiological problems in the long run. Modifying your lifestyle, performing stress relieving exercises, and solving the root cause of stress is the best way out.
Stress relieving exercises not only lessen the overall levels of your stress and anxiety but also enhance the quality of your life. Both physically and mentally, they have a positive impact on you. And it is not just a dictum that elder people say; many studies have found that exercise reduces stress.
How Exactly Does Exercise Relieve Stress?
There is not one but many ways through which exercise reduces stress. Here is a list of some benefits that you directly get from stress relieving workouts:
- Produces feel-good neurotransmitters: Human body produces certain feel-good neurotransmitters called endorphins. When you perform an exercise to reduce stress and depression, your brain pumps up the production of endorphins. Usually, these neurotransmitters are released when you run at a fast pace. But stress relieving exercises like dancing and aerobics can also contribute to the production of endorphins.
- Reverses the effects of stress: Whenever you are under stress, your body produces the flight or fight response. And strangely, stress relieving exercises imitate the same effects of flight or fight response. This way, your body gets habitual of dealing with these effects and can cope better when the real stress hits. Not only does exercise reduces stress but it also produces positive effects on your cardiovascular, digestive, and immune systems.
- Another form of meditation: The main purpose of meditation is to make you shed your daily tension and focus on your consciousness or a single task. When you practice exercises or yoga for relaxation, you forget about the problems in your daily lives and focus on whatever exercises that you’re performing. Some people also like to call stress relieving exercises ’meditation in motion.’
- Improves your self-confidence: When you do exercise to manage stress, you get a side benefit of comfort in your body. The more you exercise to reduce stress and anxiety, the more you know about your body. After a certain time, you start getting a sense of command over your body and as a result, your self-confidence gets a major boost.
- The benefit of health: Even the studies done on how exercise reduces stress show that your physical health plays a major role in how you feel on a certain day. It’s no coincidence that when people upset their stomachs, they also start feeling low. When you perform exercise to release stress, you also improve your physical health and hence attract mental peace. As the old saying goes ‘a healthy mind resides in a healthy body.
There are many other ways through which stress relieving exercises help you achieve your goal of a stress-free mind. Some of them are:
- Boosting immunity and reducing chances of illness and infection
- Lowering your blood pressure (a work that antihypertensive treatments do)
- Help you get a sound sleep
- Improving your image in your mind
How Much Exercise Is Enough Exercise?
When making a weekly plan of exercise to reduce stress and depression, it is important to think of a minimum amount of time you are going to start with.
It is usually suggested that around 150 minutes of aerobic activity is necessary for a week. This means that even if you take 2 days off in a week, you still just have to exercise just 30 minutes a day. In the beginning, it is hard to do aerobic or even stretching exercise for 30 minutes straight. Three workouts of 10 minutes each also work the same as that of 30 minutes long workouts.
Another thing that you should keep in mind while making a workout plan is that at least two sessions of strength training are important in one week. All the leading muscles groups such as core muscles, abdominals, legs, chest, shoulders, arms, etc. should be provided with a good workout.
It is okay to start with a low level of physical activity. But also make sure that you gradually toughen up the stress relieving exercises. For example, to take it slow, you can start with 20 minutes of aerobic exercise 3-4 days a week that move up from there.
Which Stress Relieving Exercises Are The Best?
Once you make a target of performing exercise to reduce stress and anxiety for a certain time, it is very easy to fulfil that. There are many exercises that are easy to perform yet very effective in relieving stress.
For a starter, the following stress relieving exercises are the best:
- Swimming (you can also try water aerobics)
- Playing tennis
When you exercise to manage stress, it is important to stick to only exercises that you enjoy. Otherwise, it becomes yet another chore that you have to complete on a daily basis. You get the best out of stress relieving exercises when you enjoy them.
Some people prefer one type of exercise to manage stress to other. For example, if you like to walk, just start with walking. Then go to the next level and start jogging. And once your body is ready, you can start running. Although exercises like swimming are more engaging than walking, you won’t get the desired results if you are not liking it in the first place.
Another tip you can use while doing exercise to release stress is choosing an exercise partner. Workout out with a family member, spouse, or best friend can make exercises more fun to do and less like a chore.