Stress is something that everyone deals with in their lives. Sometimes it comes in manageable chunks, other times it can be completely overwhelming. The latter is what usually makes people ill and impacts their quality of life, which is not what you want.
There are plenty of ways you can reduce stress, from taking supplements to spending time with loved ones. Exercise is often the most effective way to tackle it, though, with some activities particularly effective at lowering your stress levels.
These workouts won’t erase whatever’s worrying you, but they will help to clear your mind and give you more strength to overpower your problems.
When you’re stressed, sometimes you just want to lose control and lash out at something. Usually, that’s not a good idea because you could end up breaking something, hurting someone, or hurting yourself. However, if you package up all that tension and unleash it at a kickboxing class, it’s not such a problem.
This rigorous exercise is designed for you to punch and kick all that stress out of your body in a safe environment. It’s the perfect outlet for anyone who struggles with aggression when feeling overwhelmed, and that’s not all. Kickboxing has many health benefits, including boosting flexibility, co-ordination, stamina, and more.
Often, when you’re looking to work off a lot of stress, the best thing to do is go out for a run – but make sure you wear an adequate pair of running shoes and invest in shock absorbing insoles! It’s an aerobic exercise that gets your heart rate up, leading to the release of endorphins. These are chemicals produced by your body that create a feeling of pleasure, helping to relieve some of that unnecessary stress.
Depending on your skill level, you may choose to take things slow or go for a run that’s a little more intense. Listen to your body and push yourself without going past your limits. So long as that heart rate’s accelerated, you’ll get the shot of endorphins that you’re looking for.
Just like running, cycling can also be a high-intensity workout if you want it to be. You’re in complete control when pedalling, so the more effort you put in, the harder you’ll go. What’s more, you get to enjoy the benefit of being outside, so you can find a particularly beautiful spot and work off some of that tension surrounded by nature.
Given that these exercises are meant to relieve stress, the last thing you want is for them to put you through distress. That’s why if you’re going to go cycling, it’s worth getting bike theft insurance. You never know when your bike could be stolen, so without insurance, you’re putting yourself at risk of unnecessary stress. Thankfully, Velosurance’s policy protects against theft, alongside medical coverage, accidental damage, and many other potential claims.
Whether you’re filled with rhythm or have two left feet, dancing is a great way to work off some of your stress. You don’t have to be an expert at it to reap the benefits, so long as you keep your heart rate up and you enjoy yourself.
Obviously, dancing comes in many different forms, and which style you choose to do is entirely up to you. You can go to ballroom classes, try some Latin dancing, or just plug your headphones in and move along to the music. Do whatever speaks to you because the more you have fun with it, the easier it’ll be to relax.
It probably shouldn’t be much of a shock to see yoga on this list. After all, it’s not just a physical activity but an exercise in mindfulness too. It’s basically designed to lower your stress levels.
There are plenty of ways in which yoga helps with relaxation, such as its incorporation of deep breathing techniques. These send a message to your brain that tells it to calm down, hence why it’s so important to breathe deeply when having an anxiety attack.
The exercise is also good for relieving physical tension thanks to all those positions you have to do. That doesn’t just make you stronger and more flexible, but it also works out some of the knots in your body, allowing the stress to simply wash away.
For those who want something similar to yoga but with a bit more movement, tai chi is an excellent exercise to try. This ancient martial art is considered to be “meditation in motion” because it combines mindfulness with precise movements.
Tai chi can be both fast and slow, with the former good for building strength and the latter for stretching the muscles. A combination of these ought to keep you energised and help relax tension in your body, thereby reducing some of that stress. When done with the right amount of concentration, it can really make you forget about some of your other worries.
No matter what workout you do, any form of exercise is good for reducing stress to some degree. If you really need to let off some steam and clear your mind, though, these activities should be perfect for you.
Meg is an author at Cinnamon Hollow. She writes on a variety of topics sharing tips and ideas for daily life.