Stress relief is important for everyone, but it is a particular concern for those who work out and push their bodies to the limit at the gym. Excessive amounts of stress are bad for your health, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Here’s how you can relieve stress with exercise.
Avoid the Gym When You are Stressed
Exercising is a helpful way to feel positive, but it’s not always the most effective coping mechanism. Think about it — if you go to the gym when stressed or overwhelmed, and you exercise too much or too intensely, your body could still be in “fight-or-flight” mode when you get home. You won’t experience the feel-good endorphins that come with working out at a moderate intensity for 30 minutes or more.
Instead of spending an hour in the gym, take a brisk walk around your neighborhood or run up and down every staircase in your home for 15 minutes. These activities will help you burn off some steam without completely draining yourself. By working out at home, you can avoid this. I personally chose to use the Flybird workout bench and Flybird adjustable dumbbells for extra workouts at home! Hope that helps!
The Best Type of Exercise for Stress Relief
Walking, running, swimming, biking, and other aerobic activities are considered effective forms of exercise for stress relief because they increase the flow of oxygen to your body.
Yoga is another great form of exercise that helps relieve stress. It combines gentle movements with deep breathing to help focus the mind and strengthen the body.
Strength training is also an effective way to reduce stress because it releases endorphins in your brain that make you feel good.
The Best Time to Exercise for Stress Relief
Is there a best time to exercise? Are some days better than others? Should you work out in the morning, afternoon, or evening? Here are a few things to consider:
If you are not a morning person, don't expect that you will suddenly become one just because you want to sweat it out in the morning. If you feel better working out after work, then do it! The key thing is that you do it.
Some people believe that working out in the morning is best because your body is low on fuel. Therefore, it is more likely to use fat for energy vs. carbohydrates. There may be something to this for some people, but the reality is that most of us can only get up early enough to get ready for work without having time for an effective workout. So if getting up early just isn't an option, don't beat yourself up over it; sleep in instead!
The best time to exercise for stress relief depends on your schedule and when you're most likely to stick to it. Exercising in the morning may give you a boost for the rest of the day, but maybe you don't have time before work. If so, consider exercising during lunch or after work.
Do Regular Exercise
Doing regular exercise even for a short time can help keep stress under control.
The reason this works is that when you are stressed your body releases cortisol, which triggers your fight-or-flight response. Exercising gives you an outlet for this energy and helps calm down your body's response to stress.
Not all stress is bad. Some is normal and even beneficial. The key is to recognize when stress has become unhealthy. Take steps to reduce stress before it affects your health and well-being if that happens.
Exercise is just one way to do that. It doesn't have to be complicated or expensive, either. The benefits of exercise come from making it a part of your routine and also focusing on intensity when you do exercise.
Work Out with a Friend
Working out with a friend is a great way to relieve stress. Having someone to talk to while you do your routine can make it much more enjoyable. You will feel more relaxed and comfortable going through the motions with a friend than by yourself.
Exercising with other people will also help you stay motivated and accountable. If you're trying to get fit or lose weight, knowing that people are counting on you will give you the extra push that you need to succeed.
Find an exercise buddy, set up a schedule and commit to working out together regularly.
For example, if you're running on the treadmill every day at 5 mph for an hour and not seeing any results, try bumping up the intensity by going faster or adding hills for 30 minutes instead. You'll see far better results this way than you would if you continued doing the same thing every day without changing it up at all, even though you're spending less time exercising overall.
Above all else, staying active is the most important thing you can do to relieve stress and prevent other conditions like depression. Exercise, physical activity, and a physically active lifestyle all go hand in hand when it comes to overall health, and all things being equal you should consider increasing your activity level if you’re looking to improve your mental well-being. No matter what kind of physical activity you enjoy, or how much time or energy you have to commit, staying active is always worth the time investment while reducing stress symptoms in the process.