5 Exercises for Anxiety and Stress Relief
Exercising regularly is one of the surest ways for overcoming mental illness like stress and anxiety. Studies have shown that engaging in physical activities can improve mood, self-esteem, quality of sleep and energy. About Dr. Nick Cavill, a health promotion consultant, if exercise were a pill, it could be the most cost-effective drug for fighting stress and anxiety as well as other chronic problems. Exercising doesn’t always require equipment or weight. You can work with your bodyweight and reap a host of health benefits.
Here are five exercises you should perform to fight stress and anxiety:
Swimming is a great way to drown stress and anxiety as you enjoy every stroke. Other than being a fun way to exercise, Swimming also works muscles of both the upper and lower body, which helps in weight management. About sports psychologist Aimee C. Kimball, director of mental training at Center for Sports Medicine at University of Pittsburg Medical Center, swimming can significantly reduce depression symptoms like stress and anxiety. Swimming triggers the release of endorphins, natural feel-good hormone while stopping the secretion of fight-or-flight stress hormones. It also promotes the growth of new brain cells that atrophies under chronic stress and anxiety.
According to Brian Christie, Ph.D., a Canadian neuroscientist, cycling every morning can give your brain a boost while alleviating anxiety and stress. This has been scientifically proven through a study published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research. Scientists found that participants who spent 30 minutes of spinning in a stationary bike scored higher on tests of memory, reasoning, and planning than they did before cycling. Christie says that cycling not only works your glutes and quads but also your gray matter. It enhances the supply of more oxygen and nutrients to your brain, which boosts its function, said Christie. She also says that peddling forces more nerve cells to fire and promote the release of neurotransmitters for improved mood. Biking is also a great way to reconnect with nature while enjoying the beautiful scenes.
Running has psychological benefits for runners, which are essential for fighting stress and anxiety. Stress and anxiety negatively affect your body systems including the function of your heart, lungs, digestive system and immune system. It is psychological known that running gives you a set amount of time to concentrate on your thoughts. Ceasing this moment when stressed or anxious can get your brain around an issue at your office or home. Studies have shown that runners tend to be happier because they are in better shape and have higher levels of endorphins, the feel-good hormone. Endorphins also slow the aging process while relieving stress and anxiety. Also, these hormones boost your immune system. Thus, the next time you feel stressed, run for about 20 minutes, and you will be surprised at how it alleviates your anxiety.
Listening to your favorite tunes can help you overcome stress and anxiety. According to the American Dance Therapy Association, dancing is a psychotherapeutic process that uses movements that further emotional, cognitive, physical and social integration of a person. Just like running, dancing disrupts the pressure you get when going about your regular tasks at home or work. It also uses expressive movements and breathing to curb hyper-aroused thoughts caused by stress and anxiety. Through dancing, your thoughts become simplified and make you more focused on your movements other than the complicated stressors of life. Nevertheless, the main purpose of dance therapy is not to cause distraction but also help people to cope with severe anxiety and stress
Tennis isn’t only meant for leisurely people at sports centers. This game can help you break a sweat to ease stress and anxiety. Playing with a friend may not feel relaxing like a bubble bath, but engaging in a little physical activity can help in clearing your mind. Playing tennis involves aerobic moves that promote the release of endorphins. About Michael Hopkins, a graduate student from the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory Laboratory at Dartmouth University, vigorous exercises like tennis give positive stress on the body and brain. This makes your body well prepared to deal with stress and anxiety in a more effective way. It is also a healthy distraction that also enhances sleep and problem-solving abilities.
If you have stress or anxiety, engaging in any of these five exercises can go a long way in helping you cope. Exercising promotes the release of a feel-good hormone that boosts your mood. Problems become simpler and you feel more energized to go about your regular tasks after exercising. Exercises strengthen your body and brain, both of which are very crucial in the fight against stress and anxiety. The worst thing you can do to your mental wellbeing is to allow stress and anxiety to ruin the quality of your life. Get something done every time you feel anxious or stressed!
Sara Biston is a passionate blogger and health article writer. She is an experienced writer who loves writing about beauty skin care, lifestyle, food, health and wellness. She believes in spreading a word of happiness through her writings. Sara’s passion for healthy living became the catalyst for a major career change. She is firm believing the fact that “Tough time never lost but Tough people do”. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ for daily inspiration.