Exercises to Relieve Stress

Apr 19, 2017

Lynsey Schmidt

by Lynsey Schmidt
PT, DPT | South Chandler Location

The pace of life is so fast now, isn’t it? It seems like everyone is running around with a to-do list a mile long, and only able to keep up with life rather than live it. Many of us are trying to juggle work, church activities, maintain the home, arrange kid’s schedules, and other errands. Our lives are exhausting, and at the end of the week we end up feeling stressed.
To keep up with our lives we need to find ways to manage our stress so we can continue to give each day our very best. Once we find ways to relieve stress, the ability to go through our week relaxed, and in charge of our emotions is much easier.
Exercise is an excellent way to help us achieve these goals. Our bodies are amazing, through exercise we release natural pain killers called endorphins. Endorphins affect us by improving how we function, how we sleep, and our overall attitude. There are many exercises out there that can help us release those endorphins, relieve stress, and improve our overall health. I have a selection of my favorite exercises below, so find the one that you enjoy to help stay healthy!
Aerobic Exercise: Getting your heart rate elevated can really help you to blow off steam, and learning to control your breathing can decrease your resting heart rate in everyday life. Some of my favorites are swimming, running, walking, and using various cardiovascular machines at the gym. Sign up for a local race or walk to give you even more motivation!
Weight training: Lifting, pushing, pulling, all challenge different muscle groups to help get your blood pumping. Start at a lower level and work up from there to avoid injury.
High intensity interval training: Switching between low intensity exercise and short bursts of high intensity exercise is a great method burn calories, while building muscle, and improving cardiovascular health.
Outdoor activities: Fresh air is nature’s cure-all, getting outside and away from the hustle bustle of everyday life is another way to release endorphins. Whether you’re running on a trail, kayaking in a river, or simply walking around the neighborhood, you’re moving your body and decompressing from the pressures of life.
Group classes: There are so many choices when it comes to fitness classes, so try out several and see which one fits you best.  Working out with others is a great motivation strategy, and can make you try just a little harder, while giving you a healthy workout.
Team Sports: Playing in a basketball league, volleyball match, or even a dodge ball competition will empower you to keep playing. Think about all the fun you had as a kid, playing with your friends in the backyard, it’s still just as good! Try it out all over again as an adult!
Martial Arts: Some people need the discipline of learning form, technique, and the challenge of earning the next rank to keep them going. The great feeling of accomplishment when you move up to the next level makes the intense training all worth it!
Yoga and Pilates: There are many different types of yoga, and Pilates, some are performed on a simple mat, while other require specialized equipment. For both types of exercises, it’s all about connecting your mind, body, and breathing. It takes a lot of concentration to control your breath while standing on one leg or changing positions. However, by mastering these internal connections, you will find that your body is more flexible, stronger, and at peace.
These are only a few of the great options out there to manage your stress level. It’s also a great way to lead your children by example to a healthy lifestyle, that way they can learn from your successful techniques, and stay healthy. Grab a friend or family member to try them out with, and find the right one for the both of you.
Are you suffering from aches and pains that are holding you back? Schedule an appointment at one of our Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy offices to help you get back to the activities you love. Along the way, you may realize that you’re feeling more in control of your life, and all the stresses that come with your busy schedule just melt away.

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