Relieve Stress with Relaxing Exercises
After a stressful day exercise is the perfect way to make you feel relaxed and energised.
Many people in high-pressured jobs visit the gym, have a swim or go for a jog every day, as it makes them feel more relaxed. Regular exercise has both a psychological and physiological effect on the body. It can boost your mood and energy levels and relieve depression, as well as provide a healthy distraction from your daily worries and anxieties. When you exercise, you also tend to feel better about yourself.
Instant Stress Relief
If you are under pressure, an exercise session can work wonders. When you exercise, your muscles become less tense and your heart rate increases – this makes you feel both relaxed and alert and enables you to cope with your problems more efficiently.
It takes around 30 minutes of intense exercise to reduce your body tension, but even physical activities such as gardening, housework and dancing can lower your stress levels.
Regular exercise can help you sleep more soundly, improve digestion, and boost concentration and immunity.
Endorphins to Beat Stress
Intense exercise triggers the release of ‘feel-good’ hormones in your brain called endorphins. These help to dull pain and have a similar chemical structure to the drug morphine. They are also involved in your body’s response to stress and help to control your mood.
This is how regular intense exercise can lead to a sense of well-being or even euphoria (the so-called ‘runner’s high’). You don’t need to be an athlete to benefit from increased endorphin production, but you do need regular exercise for long enough to get the best effect. Endorphin production usually begins about 15-20 minutes into an exercise session, and tends to peak after about 45 minutes, so the longer you exercise for, the happier you should feel.
Simple exercises to Beat Stress
When choosing a form of exercise, it is important to do something that you enjoy and that fits in with your lifestyle.
Stretching and breathing
Stretching exercises help to ease muscle tension and are ideal if you are sitting for most of the time at work.
First find a position where you feel comfortable, either on a chair or on the floor.
Begin by stretching each of your arms by raising them above your head. Follow this by stretching out each of your legs until you feel the muscles pulling and then hold the position for a few seconds.
Remember to keep your breathing regular throughout your exercises.
Try incorporating a stress-busting session into your lunch break at work. Stretch the limbs until you feel the muscles pull, hold the position and then relax.
Yoga involves doing postural, breathing and relaxation exercises to increase your suppleness, relieve stress, and boost your energy levels. It is best to get training from a qualified teacher so that you know you are using the right positions.
A class once or twice a week and sessions at home once you feel confident. Yoga will help to increase your flexibility and relieve the fatigue that a hard day can cause.
Swimming eases muscle tension, helps you relax and builds stamina, muscle strength and suppleness. Since is it non-weight bearing, it is ideal if you suffer from joint problems. Aqua aerobics classes are also a good idea if you don’t want to swim lengths.
Two to three times a week, but preferably every day. Most pools hold regular aqua aerobics classes. Aerobic exercise, like walking and swimming, has an effect on stress relief than weight training.
Outdoor activities are great because they encourage you to take advantage of the fresh air and changing scenery.
Brisk walking is a good way to let off steam and clear your head. It provides a good opportunity to escape from a stressful situation. Walking is a non-competitive activity that you can perform almost anywhere.
A 20 minute walk every day.
Cycling is a low-impact exercise, as it doesn’t put your muscles and joints under too much strain.
Aim for three to four hours a week, beginning on flat terrains and then progressing on to hills.