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11 Best Exercise Programs to Relieve Stress

The modern man is subjected to stress. It’s a part of life nowadays – but it shouldn’t mean that you just let it take over your life. There are techniques, activities, diet programs, and exercises that will help you find your inner peace in the midst of the chaotic world we call ‘now’.

Yoga

Regarded as one of the best exercise programs to date, Yoga is a holistic type of exercise that does the body and mind well. Controlling your breathing while doing Yoga postures hones your discipline and makes you more mindful. Various pieces of evidence have shown that Yoga lowers blood pressure, stress hormone levels, and heart rate.

Many people find Yoga to be intimidating due to extreme postures. But the 15-minute per day Yoga doesn’t require intense postures especially if you’re just starting out. It’s a step-by-step process and takes some time and patience to perfect postures.

Tai Chi

This is an ancient Chinese routine that has an almost similar effect to Yoga. It’s a non-competitive martial exercise that follows breathing and slow physical activity or movements.  According to a study done by Tai Chi for Health Institute, this particular exercise improves flexibility, muscle strength, and relieves pain.

Pilates

Though Pilates is a strength training exercise, this program enhances muscle control, flexibility, and sharpens the mind. When you’re doing Pilates, you’re relieving your muscles from tension through breathing techniques to deliver oxygen to your brain. It produces a calming effect even after a few minutes of exercise.

Gardening

This is the best time to start cultivating your ‘green thumb’. Though this program may seem unconventional, cultivating your garden for 30 to 45 minutes per day can help you burn about 300 calories per day. A study done in the Netherlands in 2011 showed that gardening also improves your mood and reduces your stress.

Kickboxing

This cardio workout is one program that burns calories and fat like crazy. It’s an intense blend of boxing and martial arts that are used for self-defense and sports. For most, it’s a general fitness routine that is easily incorporated in a weekly health plan. It’s a stress-relieving exercise since you’ll be doing some proper breathing techniques and boosts your energy as well.

Dancing

Mainly considered a recreational activity, dancing can be considered an exercise program that works almost similarly like a cardio. Dancing is a form of self-expression in a studio or other places where audiences appreciate good physical and mental art. Aside from stress reduction, this activity burns a lot of calories, improves heart health, and cultivates discipline.

Outdoor Endeavors

In Japan, their citizens often go into the woods to experience ‘calmness’ just walking along a forested area. Nature has a way of calming the senses and providing relief from the fast-paced urban lifestyle. Hiking, biking, and walking in the woods or a nearby park helps improve the mood and brings clarity to the mind.

NIA

This stands for Neuromuscular Integrative Action. It is a blend of dance, martial arts, and healing. This is done barefoot and combines deep breathing exercises with posturing, kicks and turns to keep your body moving and your mind sharp.

Qi Gong

This is another traditional Chinese exercise that repeats one movement for a period of time. Unlike Tai Chi, this activity promotes healing and direction of energy towards the body. It’s a combination of mindfulness activity with deep breathing techniques to release muscle tension through flowing body movements.

Play tennis

Any sport is a good way to relieve stress and burn some calories. Tennis is an aerobic activity that boosts the feel good hormone or releases endorphins. Taken lightly, this sport could help you blow off some steam after a hectic week from work.

Interval training

Tight deadlines and sprinting projects can be a source of stress. Doing tons of tasks in a fraction of a time will often leave you burned out. And it’s the same thought with exercising. Interval training provides the kind of exercise that mixes high-intensity and low-intensity workouts without stressing your mind and body. With this regimen, you get shorter sprints of high-intensity workouts in between to allow your body to take some breather and still get the same calorie burn.

Weightlifting

The thought of hitting the gym and doing cardio workouts may be daunting – and stressful simultaneously. However, weightlifting through strength training may provide better benefits and faster results. Weight lifting can become a channel to course through negative energy and help you leave with a better mood and leaner body.

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