Do you find yourself tense and stressed more than you feel you should be? Turning to exercise for stress relief has long been recommended.
To improve the quality of your life, both physically and mentally, and to reduce your stress levels, physical exercise can help. Exercise can help to reduce anger, mild depression, anxiety and tension, which all work side by side when it comes to stress levels.
How Exercise Helps With Stress
Exercise increases endorphins, our feel-good neurotransmitters, and it also helps us to take our mind off any worries. Also, regular exercise also improves our general health which indirectly helps with our stress levels. Some of other benefits of exercise are that:
- It strengthens your bones and muscles.
- It improves your immunity which can reduce your risk of infection and illness
- It reduces your blood pressure
- It improves your blood circulation
- It increases the level of good cholesterol in the blood
- It improves your ability to control your weight
- It helps you to get a better night’s sleep
- It increases your energy levels
- It has an impact on your self-image
How Much Exercise Do You Need?
It has been said that you should aim for 150 mins of moderate exercise each week. The best way to achieve this is by breaking it down to 30-minute sessions over 5 days. If time is an issue then 10-minute workouts are said to be as effective as 30 min ones.
Also, it is worth looking at doing 2 sessions of muscle strengthening exercises each week. Aim to give all major muscle groups a workout such as back, chest, arms, shoulders, legs, abdominals. Take a look at our workout for beginners to get you started.
Exercises Which Help With Stress Relief
Almost all exercises can help but of course, finding an activity you enjoy will make it all the more likely that you will stick to it. Consider the below for aerobic exercises for stress relief:
- water aerobics
- playing tennis
- brisk walking
With regards to strengthening exercises, consider lifting weights or resistance related exercises. Working out with kettlebells provides a great strength and cardio workout combined, making it the perfect exercise for stress relief.
If you are not sure which workout will appeal to you most, you can try out gyms on a pay as you go basis. Sites like payasUgym offer great deals on gyms that don’t tie you in to any contracts. This is the ideal solution if you want to try out a few options to see what you do and don’t like. It is also ideal if you want the option of attending a gym every now and then without the membership payments and commitment. Studies have indicated that mushrooms can also benefit your mental health. If you want to know more, this post by Mike Shouhed is very interesting.
Working Out When You Don’t Feel Like It
Teaming up with a workout buddy is also an effective way of encouraging you to stick to a new regime. It will make you more accountable, after all, you will be less likely to pull out of a workout when someone else is relying on you to join them. Joining up with a friend can make working out seem more like a fun activity rather than a chore or something that you feel you have to do.