Woman doing tai chi

Relaxing Movement: Physical Activities That Reduce Your Stress

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The generally-accepted way of handling stress is to take a break. However, that approach doesn’t always work. Stress can still be damaging when you do nothing if it is the dominant thing in a person’s mind. A more effective way to handle stress is to do something that will help relieve it. Physical activity and exercise are often recommended because vigorous exercise can release endorphins into your body so that you can better relax. However, some exercises are better than others when it comes to stress relief. So here is a look at some top choices for you.

Go on the Road With Running

a person running

One of the simplest exercises you can do to relieve some stress is to go out there and run. Everyone knows how to run, so it is something easy to do. You might have to refine your technique a bit and get some good running shoes to avoid injury, but you should be able to start any time. Besides the runner’s high from endorphins, the increased blood circulation can help a lot with your mood. It means that the brain is getting more blood, so it feels a bit better. You only need to run a total of 50 minutes a week to get good results, so a 10-minute run for five days is enough. But you can run more and have increased benefits.

Flow With Tai Chi

Martial arts have always been a great way to relieve stress. While more violent arts focus on the catharsis of releasing emotions, tai chi is more like moving meditation. When you start tai chi lessons, you concentrate on learning 100 fluid motions that combine with your breathing to encourage energy flow in your body. This is an excellent low-impact exercise and is a great option if you can’t do the more strenuous martial arts.

Stretch Things Out With Yoga

Yoga has a long history of being associated with stress relief. This stretching exercise is more interesting than it looks. It is a form of strength training as muscles are pulled and pushed into position. That increased strength is necessary for some of the more impressive positions that the discipline has, like balancing on two hands while being prone. The constant stretching that the body experiences contributes to increased flexibility, which allows for better circulation. Increased blood flow is always good with dealing with stress because of increased oxygen levels. Additionally, the deep breathing that is part of the exercise helps relax the mind significantly.

Increase the Intensity With Circuit Training

If you want to maximize endorphin release, circuit training is the best choice. This exercise alternates weight training and cardio with some periods of rest. The result is an intense exercise that pumps your body full of endorphins in a short time. Many advocates for circuit training chase that high, and they can attest that it can be very satisfying completing the intense workouts. It is also a nice fast workout. If you need a quick boost before going back to work, a single circuit can do that.

Dive in for a Swim

Water is a relaxing element. It caresses you and envelops you. So it is understandable why swimming is often considered a stress-relief exercise. A leisurely swim can help ease a lot of the tension from your body. A big part of this is the rhythmic breathing that a swimmer uses. Similar to deep breathing in yoga and tai chi, it triggers your parasympathetic nervous system. This is what controls your ability to relax and rest. It helps release the stress in the body so that you’ll feel weightless at the end. A warm pool is even more relaxing and feels like a warm hug, which can also boost your mood.

Dance With a Partner

If you are looking for a way to relieve stress with a partner, dancing can be a good choice. Several factors make dancing with a partner helpful with stress issues. First, there is the music. Good musical rhythm can help ease a lot of worries. Music for dancing is made with rhythm in mind, so it is very effective. Second, there is the act of touch. Dancing with a partner’s hand in yours can make you feel a lot better. Along with the physical activity of dance, the result can be exhilarating.

Stress can be a major problem if you can’t relieve it. It just builds up, and it damages you mentally and physically. If you want to avoid burnout, seriously give one of the activities above a try.

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