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7 Stress-Relieving Exercises

Too much stress can be physically and emotionally destructive, leading to plummeted energy, sleeplessness, appetite changes, and potential illnesses. Although people have their own coping strategies, stress can be minimized with simple lifestyle changes. Exercise to reduce stress with these seven workout suggestions and ideas.

7 Stress-Relieving Exercises


Too much stress can be both physically and emotionally destructive, leading to plummeted energy, sleeplessness, appetite changes, and potential illnesses. Although people have their own coping strategies, stress has shown to be effectively minimized and succumbed with simple lifestyle changes, including getting active and practicing breathing techniques. Exercise to reduce stress with these seven workout suggestions and ideas.

7 Stress Relief Exercises

1. Hiking
Hiking is an excellent way to elevate not only heart rate, but mood. In fact, research confirms even just a 50-minute stroll through the woods or nature can lessen anxiety and even improve memory. Additionally, obtaining ample vitamin D from the sun can combat the risk of various mood disorders, as research has shown a link between low levels of vitamin D and symptoms of depression.

2. Running
Although the thought of tying up the shoes for a run may not appear too soothing to some, the rhythmic and repetitive movement has actually shown to be quite relaxing. Moreover, some runners advocate running has helped ward off recurring anxiety and panic attacks with continuous research touting running is an influential exercise to reduce stress. Other examples of rhythmic exercises include walking, swimming, dancing, rowing, and climbing.

3. Yoga
It really is no surprise yoga makes it on the list, as the practice has shown to deliver extensive mental benefits, stress relief included. Yoga can contribute to instant calmness, though practicing regularly can strengthen the relaxation response in day-to-day life. Find a 20-minute full body yoga workout routine here.

4. Tai Chi
Tai chi not only has shown to offer physical benefits, but has shown to encourage the mind-body connection. Fluid, gentle movements can assist in relaxation and relieve stress, while being a safe and low-impact option for people of all ages and fitness levels.

5. Kickboxing
Contrary to the calm practices of yoga and tai chi, kickboxing can be quite aggressive. However, kickboxing is a powerful exercise to reduce stress, involving controlled punching and kicking movements. Kickboxing out frustration is an influential way to unleash bottled energy and anger in a well-controlled manner.

6. Martial Arts
Like kickboxing, martial arts offers a physical outlet to release stress and anxiety. And while big bursts of explosive energy are physically beneficial, the movements can help relieve tension and improve mood. Learn more about the practice and how to reduce stress with martial arts here.

7. Team Sports
The high activity of team sports, including basketball, soccer, and football, releases endorphins, the body's natural "feel good" hormone. But it is not solely based on playing the sport itself, but getting active with close friends and other team members that can help boost and elevate the mood.

Despite the identified exercises to reduce stress, all workouts and physical activities have the ability to do so. Improve relaxation benefits during exercise by adopting mindfulness, paying close attention to your body and feelings experienced. Even if resistance training, focus on coordinating breaths during all movements, including how the body feels with each rise and fall of the weights. Additionally, like in stress relief exercises such as yoga, practice deep breathing. Find more information and examples on relaxation techniques for stress-relief here.

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