Stress and anxiety are a normal part of everyday life. It is your brain’s way of making you hyperaware of any danger or uncertainty. However, sometimes stress can hamper your day-to-day activities, and that’s when you should try to figure out a solution. The best way to deal with this would be to speak to a mental health professional and get to the root of your issues. However, there are some things you can try to manage your stress by yourself.
One fantastic, science-backed way to alleviate stress is exercise. Research has proven that moving your body and getting your heart rate up releases endorphins, which regulates your stress levels and makes you feel calmer. So basically, exercise has benefits for not only your physical and mental health—which sounds like a win-win situation to us. Confused about which form of exercise is best for you? Since consistency is key, we’d suggest trying out a variety of activities, figuring out what you really enjoy and then sticking to it! You could also mix it up according to your mood and energy levels. Here are the best exercises to try for stress relief:
There’s nothing complicated about walking right? If you’re someone who’s just starting out, walking is the best form of exercise. You don’t need any equipment, don’t need to go to a gym and can go at your own pace. Start by setting aside at least half an hour to walk, pick out a route and alternate between jogging, brisk and leisurely walking. Pro tip: a great playlist and a scenic view will definitely motivate you to walk more!
If you’ve been walking for a while and want to challenge yourself further, you could give jogging or running a shot. However, unlike leisurely walking, you need to pre-plan your run by picking a location that has a good running path, wear sweat-proof clothes and invest in a good pair of running shoes. Also, make sure you increase the intensity of your runs gradually—going from walking to trying a 10k will not be kind to your body, and you may injure yourself. So take it easy and enjoy your post-run high!
Who says workouts have to be physically draining and boring? Remember how you used to love going to clubs to dance in the pre-COVID era? Well, we’re telling you that you should continue to do it at home (minus the uncomfortable shoes)! Dancing can instantly lift your spirits and is a great way to get your heart pumping. If you want to take it up a notch, you could try aerobic dance workouts online—they’re fun and a great way to burn lots of calories.
Also Read: Post Workout Meal
Is it possible to talk about stress-relief and exercise without mentioning Yoga? The answer is no, because there’s no better way to relax your body than a good Yoga sesh. It involves deep breathing, stretching, meditation as well as strength training—what more could you ask for in a workout? If you’re new to yoga, you could start by doing surya namaskar and gradually increase the number of rounds. For regular Yoga fiends, we suggest switching between different forms—power yoga, breath and spinework yoga or hot yoga are some great options.
Some people just need a good ‘ol intense sweat session to feel good, and high intensity interval training (HIIT) is a fantastic option for them. It involves intense bursts of exercise followed by a few seconds of rest—and is a great way to burn a high amount of calories, is good for your cardiovascular health and leaves you with a rush of endorphins. You can also customise it according to your preference by adding weights or resistance bands.
We know it can be hard to motivate yourself to work out when you are anxious. But all you need to do is push yourself to start—we guarantee you’ll be a lot better once you’re finished!
Also Read: Health Benefits of Skipping
Featured Image: Pexels
This article is part of a social initiative called #KhayalRakhna by Philips. We hope to provide you with some comfort, relief and guidance as we power through these tough times. If you are finding it hard to cope, we encourage you to get in touch with a mental health professional.