Nine of the best stress busting workouts
Maybe it’s just been a hectic day where nothing seemed to go right, or maybe you’re going through a period in your life where ‘stressed out’ just feels like an everyday state.
We all seem to lead such stressful lives these days, and it’s not uncommon to hear ‘I’m just too stressed to train’. However, wherever your stress levels lay on a scale of ‘it’s been a terrible day’ to ‘everything is impossible’, there’s a workout out there that can help you re set and de stress. Here’s a run down of our favourites:
High Intensity Interval Training, basically does what it says on the tin: It’s hard, it’s heavy and it’s intense. Simply it’s PERFECT for pounding the stress of a bad day away, because, how can you even remember how bad your day was when you’re gasping for breath and you’ve got lactic acid everywhere.
Whichever yoga path you might follow (there are so many different styles and varieties) yoga is an ideal workout for those when everything is just feeling a bit too much, and you're feeling a bit emotional. It centres you, forces you to concentrate and focus only on your breath and on the present moment (not on that looming deadline, or that thing you said last week that you really wish you hadn’t…).
Stress busting in a similar way to a HIIT workout, but with a little added satisfaction – you also get to hit something.
But we’re not talking all-out, flailing arms and legs. You’ll need to concentrate on complicated techniques and combinations, because when you don’t, there might be a pad heading for your face! The combination of a tough, impact workout, and the concentration on the present moment make it great for serious stress busting.
Long run, cycle or swim
Sometimes you do actually need to spend time thinking about the problems that are causing such stress rather than always trying to forget them. Therefore a long steady CV workout can be just the ticket. Solutions for our problems can hit you at the strangest of times and a eureka moment at mile 3 of 4 might put a spring in your step so you can finish off that last mile with a smile.
Working out with a friend
Getting together with a friend to workout together can do wonders for your psyche. You can talk it out a bit, get down to work and support each other. And everyone knows that post workout coffees with chums are the best tasting coffees.
Working out outdoors
Fresh air feels good (particularly if you’ve been stuck in an office all day). Of course timing it perfectly so the sun is shining feels even better, but if you live in the UK that gives you about 3 days a year to get an outdoor workout in. Discover how alive it makes you feel to run in the pouring rain, or how good it feels to come indoors into the warm after a workout in the wind and rain: the endorphins are second to none.
A long walk
At times our bodies just cant physically cope with the stress we are under and it’s actually not a good idea to push through a gruelling workout. A long walk can be just as therapeutic and the simple act of finding the time to do something for ourselves gives mood levels a much-needed boost. If you don’t have a dog, beg steal or borrow, as contact with animals is a well-documented stress reliever - double whammy!
Dance / aerobics class
Complex choreography is a bit similar to the padwork session - it gives the mind something that it needs to focus on. Good music an fun dance routines add an ‘I’m not really working out’ feeling to this one. Listening to music is another well-known stress busting technique used by many making this option yet another double whammy!
Learning a totally new skill set is so challenging for the mind and body, and creates a huge feeling of accomplishment when you’ve learnt something totally new and you see yourself improving. Committing to a class on a weekly or bi-weekly basis also adds an accountability factor to the workout, so you’ll find yourself going on the good days or the bad days, and you’ll always be glad you went by the time you finish.
So, it's time to try and understand your own stress leverls and see where these different workouts will fit in and give you the right boost at the right time. Maybe you already do some of these workouts but want to try some others, or perhaps you do a different one that you want to share, we always love to hear from you in the comments below!