Reducing Stress Effectively Through Exercise

There are numerous ways to reduce stress: from choosing activities that you enjoy and participating in non-competitive sports, to going for walks and doing short sessions of aerobic activities. 

Choose activities you enjoy

Choose the activities you enjoy the most, so you'll do them for longer periods and will get the most out of them. If you like to reduce your stress levels by getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, you should avoid crowded swimming pools and take a run in the park; if you like to be around lots of people and chat, on the other hand, the gym could be a more ideal place for you.

Choose non-competitive activities

Choose activities that are not competitive. Although competing does have its advantages, it can be a disadvantage if you tend to be too competitive, and especially if you lose. In these cases, a game of soccer or a tennis match could even become a catalyst for stress.

Aerobic activities, like running, walking, swimming and cycling, have a calming effect due to their cyclical action. One study has shown that marathon runners have lower levels of testosterone, a hormone associated with high levels of aggressiveness. Aerobic activities are recommended for those who consider themselves aggressive.

How certain sports can affect stress levels

While physical activity is a great way to channel negative emotions, stress and aggressiveness, certain sports, if it’s done too intensely, can create undue stress, which in turn could lead to an increase in aggressive behavior. But, this is not very common. If done on a regular basis, and especially in a conscientious and responsible manner, physical activity will only tend to be beneficial.

Regular physical activity is important

Short sessions of exercise every day, or at least three times a week, are good for reducing stress levels. It is generally recommended to stay as active as possible; walking or riding a bike to work, walking to shops and around town, etc. Sex can also be beneficial, as it relaxes the muscles and releases emotional tension.

WANT TO KNOW MORE?

Read An introduction to reduce stress
Read The benefits of reducing stress
Read Questions & Answers