I have a favorite exercise video that I fell in love with in my 20s. I busted it out last night and gave it a go. It wasn’t quite the same as when I did it 20 years ago. Let’s just say that if my lower back could, it would reach up and slap me. Exercise is one great way to get the stress out but there are others….
- Get enough exercise – If you’re only doing one thing to boost your mental and physical health, it should be exercising regularly. Scientists say working out increases blood circulation in the brain, especially in the areas that control motivation, mood, and response to stress. Plus, it releases endorphins – the feel-good hormones. And it doesn’t have to be intense, a brisk walk, jog, or bike ride can help keep you calm.
- Focus on sleep – Another benefit of exercise? It improves sleep quality, which is one of the best things you can do to ease stress and lift your mood.
- Take up yoga, tai chi or qi gong – Yoga can help regulate the body’s stress response system and improves sleep quality, plus, it releases endorphins, too. It’s physical exercise with a focus on breath regulation and mindfulness through meditation and it can ease symptoms of depression, according to a study. Tai chi and qi gong, traditional Chinese exercises, and studies show they’re also excellent stress reducers.
- Meditation and mindfulness – They’re both good ways to lower stress and research shows it only takes about 30 minutes a day of meditation practice over two weeks to show a measurable change in the brain.