Stress is a natural part of life, but our bodies aren’t meant to deal with it all the time. Luckily, there’s a natural way to help beat it, too, and it’s free! Regular exercise is one of the best ways to relieve chronic stress, and whether you do yoga, kickboxing, or just walk every day, you’ll get hormones like endorphins and dopamine that help lower stress hormones like cortisol that can damage our body. Here’s what to look for in your activities to help the most with easing your stress.
An Ideal Workout to Ease Stress…
…Gets Your Heart Rate Up
Health experts know that just 20 minutes of high-intensity activity a day is enough to see results in your stress levels, blood pressure, and overall mood. Choose workouts that get your blood flowing and you’ll be better for it. Jump rope, cycling, jogging, and other cardio workouts are perfect for a short, stress-busting workout.
…Keeps Your Focus on Your Body
When you’re working out to beat stress, you don’t want to be thinking about what’s stressing you out! That’s why exercises that keep your focus on what you’re doing are best. If you find an activity unengaging, your mind may start to wander. Try workouts that keep you physically challenged and mentally engaged, like dance for focusing on your footwork, or yoga for focusing on your breath.
…Is Easy to Schedule
No matter how much (or little) time you have to work out during the day, there are many activities that you can fit between work, chores, and other obligations. When working out to alleviate your stress, make sure that it’s an activity that is easy to fit into the rest of your life. Even if a sunrise yoga session might feel amazing, it might not be possible to make it to a class when your kids need breakfast! Making your stress-busting workout fit your lifestyle is key to having it help you the most.