What exercise is best to help reduce stress?
The type which does not add more stress!
Everyone is different.
For some, they come back from a ten-mile run, and they feel relaxed. Others come back from a similar run and are exhausted, more stressed than when they left because their bodies hurt so much and others can’t do without the exhilaration of pushing their bodies to the nth degree – somehow the pain is satisfying.
And for yet others, a long walk or yoga gives them a wonderful feeling. Their bodies react well. For others, yoga is too slow or they don’t have the flexibility to deal with all the poses. And for others, Pilates is ideal.
Weights are a favorite for certain people. They “pump iron” for hours every day and the cardio represents an interruption into what they love. Others can’t stand going to the gym and especially lifting weights.
Many people enjoy sports. One person told me that he plays sports all year round and would never dream of going to the gym.
The important factor
The most important thing to your exercise program – and yes, exercise is critical to stress reduction – is that you enjoy what you’re doing!
Why? Because you’ll actually do it! You’ll look forward to your exercise time and have no trouble keeping it up because of the incredible benefits you receive from it –
Benefits of Regular Exercise
Besides handling stress much better, regular exercise has many benefits:
the obvious ones are:
- burn fat
- increase cardiovascular functioning
- increase the good feeling endorphins
the not so obvious
- better functioning organs
- increased blood flow to the brain
- clearing up metabolic waste products
- helping posture
- maintaining good lung capacity and therefore more oxygen throughout your body for good health
- helping to avert disease and can even reverse some diseases
Is there anything else which can help the body and reduce stress?
Yes. Deep breathing, stretching, massage, aromatherapy, meditation. Each one has physiological benefits for the body. Again, it’s a matter of preference though this last four can benefit anyone who indulge in their own way. For instance, meditation is not necessarily sitting crossed legged in a quiet room reciting the same word over and over again. Meditation for some can be sitting in the park watching squirrels run up and down the trees and admiring beautiful flowers or listening to a brook.
Aromatheraphy can be simply using your favorite scented hand cream and a massage can simply be rubbing your temples or using a massage wand or chair.
Throughout the day you can:-
- stretch – stand up every couple of hours and touch your toes, lean backwards slightly, lean your head side to side and front to back, rotate shoulders, stretch arm triceps overhead, stretch hamstrings – just 5 minutes and you can feel refreshed. You can find a lot of stretching. Here’s a couple of videos from YouTube – you can find a lot of videos on YouTube
- Throughout the day, take 10 deep breaths as often as possible. Make the breath reach as far down and across as possible.
- While standing, be conscious of your posture – adjust accordingly and breath.
- If you can, meditate for 5 or 10 minutes at breaks or lunch hours.
- just sitting and enjoying peace and quiet
There are many, many avenues for relaxation of the body and of the mind – you’ll find quite a few videos on YouTube and elsewhere – this has just been a sampling to give you an idea – you might just find something you really enjoy.
Exercise is a key to good health and reducing stress in your life if you love what you are doing. Here is one instance in which loving the method of exercise is critical and adding different ways to reduce the stress in your body holds incredible benefits.