Tough work week? Fight with your partner? Financial stress? Winter blues?

No matter how happy go lucky your personality is, it’s natural that every once in a while, you’re bound to feel a little stressed out. There are many different ways to approach dealing with stress.

Some people like to take a nap or eat a cheat meal, while others like the tackle the problem head on. One of the easiest (and cheapest) methods to reducing stress is to exercise.

When you exercise your body releases endorphins, which are hormones that fight stress. Exercise also helps to clear your head and take your mind off your problems.

These exercises help to exert energy and reduce your stress levels.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
HIIT is a form of interval training, a cardiovascular exercise alternating short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less intense recovery periods.

Accelerating your heart rate helps release endorphins which are natural opiates that make you feel better with no side effects. HIIT can include F45 or boot camp classes or body attack if you are a member of a Fitness First.

This group style training is also a healthy social activity. Stress is often internalised and an isolating emotion. By engaging in social exercise, you are forcing yourself to break that inward reflection.

It can often prove to be the kind of healthy distraction that you need.

Regular yoga classes can assist wit reducing stress, anxiety and tension. Yoga has proven to have a calming effect on the body and many poses are beneficial for stress relief. Yoga also has a strong focus on deep breathing.

By transferring focus and attention to the body and breath, yoga can help to temper anxiety, while also releasing physical tension.
Moves to try

  • Try the bridge pose which gently stretches the back and legs while reducing back aches, fatigue and anxiety.
  • Childs pose is a resting posture that quiets the mind and eases stress. It’s beneficial for the nervous system and lymphatic system

Kickboxing / Boxing
This one is pretty obvious. Sometimes all you feel like doing when you’re stressed is expelling your anger physically. Do this in a safe environment and join a boxing or kickboxing class.

This rigorous workout is a great outlet for stress relief. It will also help to improve your coordination, strength, balance and flexibility. At the end of the class you’re guaranteed to have better mental clarity combined with physical exhaustion. Get a good night’s sleep and start the next day fresh.

Running outside
Let’s face it, most of our stress revolves around our busy lives. Whether it’s work or family commitments, as city slickers the hustle and bustle can sometimes become a bit much. After a long day in the office, sometimes the last thing you feel like doing is going straight into an overpacked gym.

Take any opportunity to get out into some big open space. Whether it’s your nearby beach or park, go for a long run or a walk outside and breath some fresh air.

Leave your electronics behind and focus on enjoying the sounds of the waves crashing or the trees rustling. Beautiful, natural settings can really improve your mood and shake up your workout routine also.

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