Stress is something that every human being has to deal with on a daily basis. While we've all heard that exercise relieves stress, which exercises should you do? Below are some workouts that can relieve tension and help keep stress at bay.
Yoga is one of the most popular and effective stress-busting workouts in existence, because it engages the mind as well as the body. Bear in mind that a large portion of stress comes from mental activities (e.g., planning, analyzing, worrying, etc.); yoga helps to tame your mind by promoting focus and concentration through careful, deliberate postures and poses.
Not only is yoga an excellent form of strength training, but it also boosts your resilience and flexibility, which can further relieve stress and tension. Five Seasons Family Sports Club offers excellent yoga classes that can help you feel rejuvenated and relaxed, all while building your physical strength and mental endurance.
Swimming is one of the most unique stress-relieving workouts around, because it's the only one that puts your body in an entirely different environment--water! This essentially forces you to pay more attention to your physical movements (otherwise you'll sink, right?), which engages and calms your mind to focus only on the essentials of the task at hand.
As a result, everything else will begin to fade away, which can give your mind a much-needed break. Swimming also requires you to breathe deeper, which stimulates what's known as the parasympathetic nervous system, creating a sense of calmness and relaxation in your mind and body. At Five Seasons Family Sports Club, we have world-class swimming pool facilities that provide the perfect environment for you to engage in stress-relieving swimming sessions.
A great way to bring stress levels down is to bring your heart rate up through aerobic exercise. When your heart rate increases, complex hormones known as endorphins are released into the body, which helps to improve your mood, minimize pain, and increase feelings of pleasure. These feel-good hormones are fantastic stress-busters, and are available at the ready when you begin engaging in activities that can accelerate your heart rate. Five Seasons offers a variety of aerobics classes (including water aerobics!) that will boost your cardiovascular health and provide you with a natural high that will stave off the effects of stress on your system.
Mindfulness: Turning Any Workout Into a Stress Reliever
No matter what kind of workout you do--a group fitness class, a run, a strength-training session--you can still turn it into a stress-reducing workout by practicing a technique known as "mindfulness." While this term may sound a little abstract, it's actually a very practical technique that you can use to clear your mind, minimize stress, and maximize your concentration.
Mindfulness involves intentionally making an effort to focus only on the present moment when working out. This means taking the time to pay attention to every minor detail of what's going on in real time--i.e., your pace of breath, your body positioning, the temperature of the room, the sounds of your environment, the particular muscles being used in your movements, etc.
For example, if you're jogging, pay attention to the sound of your feet hitting the pavement. If you're swimming, focus on the feeling of the water pushing and pulling against the muscles of your body. If you're lifting weights, take note of the way your body looks in the mirror and how you fill your lungs before exhaling and lifting the weight. By practicing mindfulness, you'll clear your mind of all thoughts except what's going on in the immediate present, which can take a load of stress off your mind.
Stress doesn't have to dominate your life. Keep the above workouts in mind to help you reduce stress and live a healthier, more balanced lifestyle!