As an athlete, exercise can be your greatest form of stress relief. Whether you’re a long-distance runner who loves to literally run away from everyday stresses, or a swimmer who blocks out the world around you as soon as you’re underwater, exercising can reduce stress by helping you to focus your mind on something else.
But sometimes, doing the same activity that’s part of your fitness regime as a full-time athlete can get repetitive and may not be the solution to help you de-stress – especially if you’re working towards hitting new goals or personal bests. We’ve put together our favorite alternative exercises that can help to reduce stress levels that are the perfect additions to your exercise regime.
Pick an Activity You Enjoy
We’re sure you love to exercise – that’s why you’re on our website! But it can be good to sometimes switch up your exercise routine and add something different into the mix. Instead of opting for another intense workout, why not try something a little more calming?
This doesn’t mean that you have to choose an activity that’s at a slower pace. You can still pick an activity that will get your heart rate pumping, such as dancing or swimming – just the simple act of trying something different that you enjoy and taking some time out from your regular exercise routine can really help reduce stress and boost your mood.
Try a few of our favourite exercises for stress relief below:
The 7 Best Exercises to Reduce Stress
The slow movements and deep breathing involved in yoga will be your best friend when looking for exercises to reduce stress. Yoga is known to help improve your strength and flexibility while stretching out your muscles.
Introducing regular yoga practice into your fitness schedule can help you perform better in other sports too, as you’ll find your concentration and focus improves.
The deep breaths involved in yoga also help to ease stress and anxiety, and you may also notice an improvement in sleep quality, which is another positive way to combat stress.
This is our favorite and most fun exercise to do when feeling stressed. Whether you join a Zumba or salsa class, or simply want to dance around your house like no one’s watching, any form of dancing will be an instant mood booster – think of Cameron Diaz in ‘The Holiday’, dancing to Mr Brightside. Turn your favorite song up loud and shake out the stress as you move your body in ways you wouldn’t normally do in your training!
If you’re an athlete of indoor sports, a simple brisk walk outdoors surrounded by nature and fresh air can do you the world of good and can help to reduce stress levels. Not only will you be getting some exercise, you’ll also be giving yourself a boost of vitamin D from natural sunlight. Vitamin D plays a key role in supporting your health and wellbeing and is known for its mood-boosting benefits. The best thing about going for a walk to reduce stress is that it doesn’t require much energy or exertion, so you can feel relaxed as you take in the scenery around you without having to worry about hitting those fitness goals.