Study after study has proven how exercise helps fight against stress. When you exercise, the levels of adrenaline and cortisol (also known as stress hormones) in your body reduce while the production of endorphins (or happy hormones) increases.
Regular exercise also has many health benefits, including lowering your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and some cancers. Moreover, it makes you significantly healthier and feel better about yourself.
With that said, here are some simple exercises you can do at home to relieve stress and help you stay fit.
Yoga is known as both a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline. It teaches you flexibility, strength, posture, awareness, and control over your body and your mind. Yoga is also a low-impact exercise, which means it causes little to no harmful stress on the body. Anyone can try it, and you don’t need to be already flexible to do it.
Yoga teaches you to focus and relax your body and your mind to combat stress. Doing the poses, even the easiest ones, requires deep concentration, which keeps your mind from wandering, analyzing, thinking, and stressing out.
For beginners, doing gentle yoga at home is recommended for stress relief as high-intensity yoga may do only the opposite. You may feel some muscle pain when you’re just starting out, but it’s nothing that a day of rest and some elastic therapeutic tapes can’t cure.
Similar to yoga, Pilates is designed to improve strength, endurance, flexibility, and posture. This fitness system, which was also named Contrology by its creator, Joseph Pilates, is anchored on the idea of muscle control.
Pilates requires intense concentration and control, which makes it excellent for relieving stress. It also puts a lot of focus on breathing, flow, precision, and relaxation. If you’re feeling anxious, you can try the Pilates breathing exercises to calm your mind and recenter yourself.
Tai chi is a form of martial arts that originates from China. People practice for defense training, relaxation, and meditation. Mayo Clinic calls it “a gentle way to fight stress.” Like the first two exercises on this list, tai chi is also a mind-body practice. The martial art builds strength through a series of graceful, meditative motions that require calm and focus.
According to Harvard Health Publishing, tai chi can boost muscle strength, balance, and flexibility. With many different styles, practitioners can choose to focus on health maintenance or the martial arts aspect of tai chi.
Physical activities help fight against stress, and dancing is no different. Dancing offers several physical and mental benefits. It also provides a healthy outlet for your ideas, emotions, and creativity.
By dancing, you can relieve stress, have fun, lose weight, boost your heart health, and strengthen your muscles and bones. You can attend classes, meet people, and make new friends along the way.
Contrary to popular belief, chores can actually reduce stress and nervousness instead of doing the opposite. Mundane activities, like washing dishes, mowing the lawn, or cleaning, can be meditative and relaxing for many people.
Doing chores lets you focus on the task at hand and not think about anything else. It helps you forget about your worries and anxieties.
If you’re feeling nervous or restless, washing the dishes or scrubbing the floor can help you release all those negative emotions. You’ll feel much better after using up the pent-up energy and your time for something productive, seeing your house all cleaned and organized.