Work can be quite stressful and high levels of stress can interfere with your productivity and performance. It can also affect your physical and emotional health. According to The Health and Safety Executive 2016/2017 Report, 526,000 workers suffer from work-related stress, depression or anxiety. Exercise can help relieve stress as physical activity releases endorphins, which acts as a natural painkiller improving your ability to sleep and in turn reduces stress. Why not try one of these exercises to ease your stress levels:
Yoga focuses on uniting the mind, body and spirit. It creates a meditative environment for you to improve your overall quality of life. It does this by focusing on stress relief whilst improving your body. Yoga is all about the energy that flows through your body. The more freely it flows the more centered you feel. However, physical tension impedes this flow causing your body to become rigid and tight. This is where yoga comes in, it helps to keep the body supple and strong though controlled stretching and strengthening. Yoga is considered therapeutic to calm the mind through repetitive movement and will at some point feature meditation. This is why many people practice it in order to relax. It is also a useful tool to increase joint flexibility and build strength.
Dancing can be an easy way to let out stress and frustration, whilst also providing an outlet for self-expression and creativity. It also helps with weight loss, building muscle, improving heart and lung health, flexibility, better balance and strengthening bones. Dancing not only improves your gracefulness but also helps boost your memory and reduces the risk of developing dementia. Be it a Zumba class, salsa dancing, ballroom, ballet or tango, any form of dance can ease stress and lift your spirits.
Pilates focuses on gaining flexibility, strength and body awareness without bulking up. It can help strengthen your stomach, back, arms, inner thighs and gluts, along with improving posture, stabilising and elongating the spine and developing balance. Pilates concentrates on creating an understanding that the mind and body are connected. The core principles are concentration, control, centering, flow, breath and precision. When used correctly with the right mindset you are creating a better you with a leaner and toned body. Not only that but also relieving stress and anxiety symptoms.
Kickboxing can be a great way to relieve stress. It’s a blend of martial arts and boxing, which involves controlled punching and precise kicking movements. Fantastic for working out frustration and can be used as an outlet to release energy and anger. Hitting a punch bag can have a cathartic effect on your stress levels. Furthermore, it also improves your balance, flexibility, concentration and coordination.
Tai Chi is a form of exercise originating from China, and is a series of flowing body movements and breathing techniques. It’s designed to connect the body and mind for a sense of calm and serenity, making it an excellent choice for stress relief. Tai Chi will engage your entire body with breathing techniques. Along with improving muscular strength, flexibility, immunity and relieving pain. It also builds bone density, lower blood pressure, boost the immune system and ease conditions like heart failure, arthritis and fibromyalgia.
Swimming can be very relaxing and people who regularly workout benefit from a positive mood boost. Consequently, it creates a huge endorphin rush bringing lots of feel good emotions and gives you a better sense of wellbeing. Whilst swimming you experience a relaxation sensation as your body is constantly being stretched and combined with deep rhythmic breathing; you can feel a calming rush. Swimming can help distract you from the outside world. Thanks to being immersed in the sound of the peaceful water. Therefore, lowering your stress levels in the process.