Stress Less with Exercise
Stress is a natural part of life, but too much stress can negatively impact your health. Stress can affect your body, mood and behavior and lead to ailments such as headaches, anxiety and even obesity. With all of these negative effects, it's important to find a way to control your stress level. Using exercise as a way to manage stress is not only great for your body, but your mind as well. From yoga to running, almost any workout will make a difference toward feeling more relaxed. It may seem hard to find 30 minutes or an hour to work out when you're feeling stressed, but it will help center your mind so you can conquer stressors.
Exercise not only releases endorphins, which will improve your mood, it may lower your resting blood pressure as well. Working out also improves sleep quality; these combined benefits will help reduce the physical effects of stress. Here are three types of exercise to combat stress:
Running, biking, dancing and HIIT workouts on machines like the Bowflex® Max Trainer are all great ways to get your heart rate up and release some stress. With both physical and mental benefits, heart rate increasing workouts are a great way to get your mind off daily stressors and focus on a repetitive motion and form. Bonus tip: Listen to your favorite music during your workout to instantly elevate your mood.
Yoga and stretching offer a chance to concentrate on breathing and meditation. Certain yoga poses are even known for relieving stress, such as child's pose and bridge pose. Clearing your mind to focus on individual muscles and balance will give you a chance to regroup and tackle your stress head on. Bonus tip: If the weather permits, move your workout outside. Fresh air and sunlight are a known mood booster.
Exercising with others and especially with friends is a great way to motivate yourself and stay accountable. Sign up for that workout class you've been meaning to try or join a recreational team with friends. Don't be afraid to get competitive and push yourself a little harder! Bonus tip: On a budget? Browse through Bowflex Insider's wide variety of workouts you can do at home with friends.
As always, listen to your body for cues when exercising. Find what workouts are right for you, and you'll be on your way to stressing less with exercise.