Stress-Busting Tips Series: Exercise

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Posted 149 days ago Latest
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Stress-Busting Tips Series: Exercise

Written by Dr Hannah Farnsworth

When stress begins to affect you, it’s time to find stress-busting methods that work for you.

 

Why Try Exercise?

Exercise is good for both your physical and mental wellbeing, and finding a type of physical activity that you enjoy can help to reduce the pressure you feel. Moving more can boost the production of feel-good neurotransmitters in the brain called endorphins. This means that after exercise, you’re likely to be in a better mood and feel less anxious, too.

 

Running and cycling are great ways to exercise and feel good, but they’re not right for everyone, so let’s look at some alternatives.

 

1 Dance Workouts

Turn up the music and try dancing to support your mental health. Dance your own way, follow an online tutorial, or join a weekly dance class in your local area.

 

Dancing gets your heart rate up, helps to release tension, and boosts your mood. Afterwards, you may find your anxiety has eased, or feel like you can face your problem with fresh eyes.

 

2 Yoga

Yoga is known to increase feelings of relaxation and reduce stress. There are many free tutorials online, and yoga classes are also held in local leisure centres and community spaces.

 

Yoga can easily be adapted for beginners, so it’s never too late to try. If you practise yoga regularly, you will soon start to notice progress which is great for self-esteem.

 

3 High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

HIIT combines intense exercise, like jumping jacks, with brief rest periods. You can get a lot out of a short session, and the nature of the class means you’ll release healthy endorphins.

 

If you don’t feel comfortable going to a class, there are plenty of YouTube videos to choose from.

 

4 Nature Walks

If you feel like you’re stuck in your head, getting outside can help. Pay attention to your senses and notice what you can see, hear, feel and smell while you’re walking.

 

Whether you go for a peaceful walk in the park or a challenging hike, leaving the house can help you feel rejuvenated.

 

5 Strength Exercises

You don’t need any fancy equipment to try lunges, squats or sit ups. You can do them anywhere and at any time, and if you want to add weights, a heavy book or a tin of beans is a suitable alternative to dumbbells.

 

Strength exercises help to build healthier, stronger bones and muscles, while also releasing body tension.

 

 

Remember that exercise doesn’t have to be an intense cardio activity like running. The key is to find an activity that you enjoy and want to do. Exercise should bring you joy and not be another form of stress. Try a few types of exercise to find one you love, then aim to exercise twice a week at first, gradually building up to 3 or 4 times weekly to combat stress and anxiety.

Posted by Dr Hannah Farnsworth

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