Everyone gets stressed. Stress levels are different depending on the day and obligations that must be fulfilled, but it’s there nonetheless.
However, higher stress levels can significantly harm your mental and physical health. And so you have to find ways to relieve that stress in order to preserve your well-being.
Exercise is a great way to deal with stress, and it’s really about finding what works best for you.
How exercising makes you feel better
When you work out, your brain starts pumping endorphins and this is when the so-called “runner’s high” shows up.
These endorphins are also called “feel-good neurotransmitters” and they make you feel amazing when sweating out the stress.
The runner’s high doesn’t mean only runners experience this benefit since this applies to any form of physical activity.
Your fitness routine can easily be your outlet and it can help bring your stress levels to a minimum. This allows you to choose from any kind of physical activity.
If you’re more stressed and feel like punching the anger out, you can always sign up for kickboxing classes.
However, if that’s not your cup of tea, set up a home gym and equip it with the equipment you like and need.
So, in order to fire up those “feel-good neurotransmitters”, make sure to incorporate at least half an hour’s exercise into your day.
How exercise clears your mind
If you’re not a fan of meditation, but want to clear your mind every day, you’re in luck! Physical activities can help you forget about what’s stressing you out as these act as a moving version of meditation.
More precisely, when you are counting your reps and focused on performing the exercise the right way, your attention is shifted from everything else.
Exercise takes your focus away from stress. (Rawpixel pic)
This way, your mind isn’t racing and thinking about what you have to do tomorrow at work or what groceries you need to buy.
Rather, you are focused on your body and how it’s moving. This is especially true if you’re engaged in high-intensity training and the only focus becomes staying alive.
What exercises are best?
Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to workout routines, but there are some that can significantly reduce stress levels.
The common component is getting your heart to beat faster so your mind is occupied and your body is sweating out the stress.
Kickboxing or any type of martial arts can help you deal with stress better. Punching a heavy bag or light sparring with your “opponent” can bring that satisfying tactile and auditory stimulation that helps you release negativity with each punch and kick.
Most people like slamming and smashing stuff when they are frustrated, but instead of letting it all out on your doors or dishes, try slamming a medicine ball instead.
You will get that sweet core-focused total-body exercise while managing your stress. Slams are done from a standing position mostly, but you can provide more intensity to the exercise if you kneel down.
● Kettlebell swings
Kettlebell swings are about combining two great exercises that can reduce your stress levels. This exercise is an explosive one and it will require that you focus and give your best to swing the weights.
The flowing rhythmic nature of the exercise will surely feel like meditation in motion. It will take you some time to perfect your swing but it will certainly keep you occupied.
It may seem easy to swing something, but don’t be fooled, you will need a great amount of concentration to perform it.
Once you’ve perfected it, it will likely become your favourite exercise for sweating out all your daily stresses.
As you can see, physical activity is beneficial on so many levels. It will not only shape your body and help you lose weight, the intensity of the exercise and the action of “punching out” your negativity will help you calm down and deal more effectively with what is stressing you out.
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the founder of Psychreg and host of The DRH Show. You can connect with him on Twitter @drelojo_howell