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5 Forms of Exercise That Bring Stress Relief

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5 Forms of Exercise That Can Bring Stress Relief Leah-Anne Thompson/Fotolia

Exercise is one of the best ways to relieve stress. It releases endorphins, which are hormones that fight stress.

Exercising will allow you to feel better mentally and physically. It takes your mind off of your problems, clears your head, and allows you to stay in the moment.

Win-win, in my opinion. There is not better cure than a good old-fashioned workout.

1) Yoga

Yoga is mind-body exercise which focuses on a number of moving and stationary poses, combined with deep breathing. Yoga has a calming effect on the mind and body. It stretches you out, and strengthens your body’s natural response system.

If you care to hit the weights, try incorporating yoga once a week on your active recovery day. It is important to keep your mind, as well as your body, well-balanced.

2) Running

Running can be extremely meditative, because it promotes present moment awareness. Present moment awareness allows us to be more tuned in to what nourishes us, and to let go of what does not. Nourishment from within is essential to living a life that has less stress.

3) Tai chi

Similar to yoga, tai chi is a series of flowing body movements combined with breathing, all done at your own pace. Although tai chi movements come from martial arts, they are meant to have a calming effect on the mind. Once you know the moves, you can practice them anywhere, at any time, and relax your body.

4) Kickboxing

Kickboxing may not sound relaxing, and although it is on the opposite end of the spectrum from yoga, kickboxing can still produce a calming effect. Kickboxing involves controlled punching and kicking movements, and allows you to get out your frustration. After a torturous day at the office, I know kickboxing sounds good to me!

5) Qigong

Qigong is an ancient Chinese art form that focuses on the repetition of one movement, rather than a series of movements like tai chi. “Qi” refers to life energy. This workout promotes well-being through visualization, breathing techniques, and repetition of specific movements for improved energy flow.


Running as meditation. Chopra Centers. Retrieved 24 December 2015.

Exercises that relieve stress. Everyday Health. Retrieved 24 December 2015.

7 Stress relieving workouts that aren’t meditation. Shape. Retrieved 24 December 2015.

Reviewed January 11, 2016
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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