BistroMD Health Library

Get excited about reading again with fun and interesting tips from our experts, including The M.D., our dietitians, and our fitness expert. In our health library, you will find all of the information you need to achieve your goals of making a healthy lifestyle change. So, start reading and start losing!


Creating a lighter, healthier you is a multi-step process. One of the most important steps, and the main focus of this section, is exercise. Here we explore everything from the benefits of exercise to how much and how often it is necessary to promote weight loss.

5 Stress Relieving Exercises

5 Stress Relieving Exercises

Sure, yoga can help you relieve that pent-up stress, but it isn’t the only physical activity that can help you relax.

Here are 5 stress-relieving exercises that can help you get back to a calmer sense of self.

5. Running

Most people of think of running as more of a physical stress than a stress-reliever, but bouts of regular cardio every week have actually been shown to calm your nerves.

Running is good for your mind and for your body. Not only does it calm the harmful effects of stress on your blood pressure and heart, but it can distract your mind from stressful events.

If you don’t usually run, going full force for 3 miles to start will do more harm than good. Start out by walking, and then gradually increase your intensity week after week.

4. Stretching

Simple stretching exercises can also be great stress relievers. If you don’t want to do full on yoga, or if you aren’t quite ready, performing and holding simple stretches are a soothing remedy.

If you are stressed and stuck at a computer all day hunched over, the heart opener is a great stretching exercise.

With your feet slightly apart, reach your hands behind you and clasp them in a fist together behind your back. Then, lift your hands as high as you can behind you, while pulling your shoulder blades together.

Take a couple of deep breaths, release, and then repeat. You can do this exercise as many times as you need to in order to feel relaxed, just be careful not to strain yourself.

3. Lifting Weights

Again, most people would think that lifting weights would be more of a stress than a stress reliever, but this particular activity helps release endorphins (stress-relieving hormones) from your brain.

Endorphins are actually some of your body’s best natural motivators and mood boosters. Lifting weights is great for distracting your mind, and with the release of endorphins, your motivation and your mood can skyrocket.

If you haven’t lifted weights in a while, it’s best to start slow and then gradually increase your weights and the intensity of your routine. Consult with your physician or with a fitness professional first so they can evaluate your physical capabilities.

2. Swimming

Swimming not only works every muscle in your body, but the surrounding environment is what can really calm those nerves.

Swimming is great because it combines the soothing effects of water with the benefits of exercise. You don’t just have the option of swimming in a pool either.

Lakes, rivers, and beaches are all great environments for swimming. The exercise is just an added bonus. Plus, frequent changes in scenery has been shown to decrease feelings and levels of stress.

1. Karate and Boxing

Not only are these activities great for exercise, but they are great for releasing tension and stress.

What better way to relieve your frustrations than to take out all of your aggression on a punching bag?

Not only do you burn calories when boxing or doing karate, but you can also learn valuable life lessons and improve self-discipline.

For more tips from our experts, please visit our healthy facts section for more information.

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