How Exercising Can Help Reduce Stress

If you have started the new year feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone. Many of us have big plans for the new year and end up quitting their resolutions within a week. If you are feeling anxious or stressed, there are a few natural remedies that can help bring balance to your everyday life. Exercise can be a simple way to relieve your tension, give you a break, and it could even help with depression. Here’s how you can get started.

How Exercising Can Help Stress

Exercise is an obvious stress relief. It helps you focus on physical activity instead of what is worrying you at that time. You can vent with a friend as you jog around the block or take out a few frustrations in a high-impact kickboxing class. Exercise releases endorphins which can help you feel better just from one quick workout. Find something that you love to do, so it becomes something that you look forward to. Think cardio dance, roller skating, or even just running with your pet.

Why Exercise Helps With Anxiety

If you suffer from anxiety or feel panicky, exercise is another strategy that you can use. It helps get rid of stress and the emotional issues that could be triggering how you are feeling. Use a dedicated half-hour to zone out as you walk on a treadmill, swim, or ride a bike. This gives your body and mind something to focus on so your anxious feelings can melt away.

How to Exercise For Mental Health

When you are exercising to help with your overall mental well-being, make sure you truly love it. If you try to force yourself to run when you KNOW you can’t stand it or your knees are bad, you will be less likely to do it again. It can also bring you more stress. For example, going into a group exercise class packed full of women can make me feel anxious and I dread attending. I look for smaller classes or early morning events when it is not so busy so I feel more comfortable. Look for things that bring you joy and do those things! Schedule a hike with friends, run on the beach, take Zumba. Having a schedule for activity might also help soothe the overwhelm. Pencil in a fitness activity a few times a week into your planner or use your Google Calendar to commit to a time to work out. If you plan it, you will be more likely to do it. You will feel accomplished as you stick to a personal commitment which can also help alleviate your overall stress.

Just remember, what you do for fitness is less important. What matters is how you feel as you are doing it. Try new workouts (if you want!) or stick to what you like to do. Find peace in your daily exercise regime, and your stress will disappear. The key is to at least try to see if this can help you.

What is your favorite way to add exercise to your daily routine?

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