Today’s world can certainly be stressful at times. Perhaps the morning news is enough to cause you stress, or perhaps your finances or career. Regardless of the reasons, stress is something we could all do without. In addition to making our day more difficult, it can also cause health problems.
Thankfully, there are simple exercise and stress relief activities that anyone can do in their spare time or in addition to a regular workout. In fact, nearly any physical exercise can be sufficient for stress reduction because exercise causes our body to release endorphins, which help to elevate mood and subsequently relieve stress.
To help relieve stress, you can practice some or all of the following exercises daily. You don’t need to engage in a long, arduous workout; even a short, brisk walk can be effective, depending on the level of stress you are feeling. To see what might work best for your schedule and situation, consider these options.
Aerobic exercises such as walking or jogging help to release endorphins and improve blood flow and circulation. Aerobics also elevate your heart rate and should result in a noticeable reduction of stress. Consult your physician if you have any heart conditions.
These types of exercises make a great addition to aerobic exercise. They improve your overall strength and increasing the strength of your joints, leading to less risk of injury during aerobics. Try curling light weights to start.
Isometric exercises are also an ideal way to get sufficient exercise while also maintaining your strength. Examples of isometric exercises include planks, wall sits, and leg lifts, which are designed to improve and maintain muscle and strength without actually stretching the muscle as with other types of exercises. Isometric exercises require little to no equipment and can be done almost anywhere at any time. There is a high correlation between isometric exercise and stress relief.
Stretching helps to elevate blood flow and also stimulates receptors in the nervous system to reduce the amount of hormones that cause stress. Yoga is an excellent form of exercise and relaxation that not only reduces stress, but also improves muscle flexibility and mental well-being. Consult a yoga instructor for the best exercises to start with.
Remember, if you haven’t exercised in a while, start off slowly by working out in small increments until your body adjusts to being more physical on a regular basis. Shortly afterward, you will be able to increase the amount of time you work out and maybe expand your routine to include more exercises. Overall, you will hopefully experience the benefit of reduced stress and improved well-being.