3 Best Workouts to Prevent Stress

Improve your quality of life with these workouts!

Stress mess! Stress is an unavoidable part of life, but you can’t let it wreck your health. Figure out what are the best workouts to prevent stress for you and your quality of life can drastically improve!

Our bodies’ response to stress is actually a survival mechanism that has long been in place. Back when we were more likely to be pray, it was a system that came in handy.

You hear an odd noise that might be a lion and your body goes into stress mode: your heart rate peaks, your muscles tense, and epinephrine and cortisone (the infamous stress hormones) trigger glucose production for quick energy.

These reactions are still useful in certain stressful situations, such as when a car suddenly breaks in front of you. But when it comes to the long-term chronic stress that is associated with work, these natural responses might hurt you more than help you.

Stress can negatively affect your health without you even realizing it. It compromises your immune system, leaving you at a higher risk for illness. That’s why so many people get sick after finals at school or after finishing a stressful project at work.

You might also suffer from symptoms you might not realized are caused by stress, such as an upset stomach, constipation, insomnia, tight muscles, skin breakouts, and headaches. Women who suffer from stress are also twice as likely to report painful menstrual cramps.

Stress can also mess with your mood, making you irritable and restless. You might suffer from lack of focus, which reduces your productivity at work and at home. To top everything off, stress is also closely linked to overeating. When you suffer from stress, you often automatically reach for the comfort food.

Those extra ten pounds you put on during the merger? It was stress-eating.

And these are just the immediate side effects of stress! Over time, it can lead to premature aging, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.

So in conclusion: stress = bad.

It’s bad for your health, it’s bad for your mood, it’s bad for your brain. Unfortunately, we can’t completely cut out stress from our lives.

Stress is a major part of most jobs, particularly well-paying high-stakes jobs. It keeps us on our toes at school, doing our best for every project. It’s even a part of most major milestones: learning to drive, starting a new school, writing a thesis, planning a wedding, raising a child, etc.

So the issue is not so much avoiding stress, but handling it properly.

One commonly recommended way to deal with stress is exercise. Exercise is one way to release tension from the body. Your putting that quick heart rate to good use and giving your muscles a chance to loosen up.

But not all workouts are effective for all people. That’s why we’re recommending three different routines. You can find the best workout to prevent stress for you!

1. Yoga

Yoga has long been associates with stress relief. It’s a calming workout that emphasizes proper breathing and stretching. A simple 30-minute routine can help you feel infinitely more relaxed and better centered.

To get started we recommend the 10-Minute Beginner’s Yoga Workout for Balance. Once you get a handle on the workout and feel comfortable with the poses, you can graduate to the 10-Minute Intermediate Yoga Workout for Balance.

If you want something a little more fast-paced, try a Pilates Workout instead.

2. Kickboxing

If all the humming in yoga makes you feel more stressed, then maybe kickboxing is the workout for you. Instead of breathing all the stress away, you get to kick, punch, and fight!

We recommend starting with the Wonder Woman Superhero Workout, which is great for some intense fat-burn, or this Kickboxing Challenge for all levels.

3. Walking or Running

Our final stress-fighting workout recommendation is walking or running. Anyone can go for a walk or run. You don’t even need a gym membership. In fact, some people might find it more relaxing to be outside in the fresh air.

Lack of sunlight can contribute to seasonal depression, so running outside, especially during winter, can be particularly beneficial for some.

To get started we recommend this 17-Day Walk Run Plan. It’ll challenge you to push just a little further every day.

Choose the best way to prevent stress for you, or even try all of the workouts! What matters most when battling stress is that you make time to take care of your health. Both physically and mentally!

Our recommended workouts aren’t very long, but even taking 30 minutes off to get some pent-up energy out of your body can help you fight the damaging effects of stress. For more information, check out How to Avoid Stress During the Day and 10 Ideas for Moms to Make Time for Workouts.

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Sofia Lopez

Sofia received her BA from Cornell University and her MFA from San Francisco State University. She creates workouts and fitness challenges. Her hobbies include running, hiking, and listening to audiobooks from the exercise bike.

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