25 May The top 5 guaranteed ways to reduce your stress levels
You may be surprised, but one of the main reasons people tell me they want to start exercising again (apart from losing weight) is to reduce stress.
Don’t overestimate what an impact stress has. Not only does it adversely affect your physical, mental and emotional well being but has a huge impact on the economy with billions spent on mental health issues.
But there are many things we can do to reduce stress – below I have listed my top five guaranteed ways to lower your stress levels and be a lot happier in life.
1. Start exercising
You know this was going to be my number one way to reduce those with high stress levels.
It can be really tough to start exercising again after months or even years. But trust me, the sooner you start the better!
Whether it is low impact moves such as walking or swimming or you want to sweat it out with a HIIT session it is all good. Whether you train at the gym or outdoors, any exercise is good and will increase your sense of well-being, lower levels of tension and improve your quality of life.
2 Start first thing in the morning
Exercise is often the last thing people think of first thing in the morning especially at this of the year. It can be almost impossible to drag yourself out of a warm and cozy bed for a sweaty session.
But training early in the morning may be the best time to reduce your stress levels. It is a brilliant way to start the day and starts you on a positive note.
Not only will you feel more awake and have more energy after your workout, but your mind will be ready to take on whatever tasks you have lined up that day. And trust me you will never regret the early morning session – just ask any of my small group training members who are up and ready to go at 6:00 am!
3 Work out with others
Training with other people is not only a highly effective way to reduce stress and boost your mood, but it is just so much more fun that training all by yourself.
Humans are social creatures and training with others can make the session more enjoyable, satisfying and can drive you to train harder than you thought you ever could.
4 Lift weights
Many scientists believe lifting weights can have a similar effect to antidepressant medications or psychotherapy. And you don’t need to lift heavy. The mental health benefits kick in regardless of whether you’re pushing massive chunks of iron overhead or lifting the lightest weights in the gym. It is not about the strength you build, but the feeling of accomplishment and confidence that goes hand-in-hand with resistance training. Plus strength training can alleviate symptoms of anxiety too.
5 Train your mind
Don’t forget the mental is just as important as they physical – you need both in top shape to keep you in peak condition.
Yoga, Pilates and other mind and body programs are a great way to connect your mind and body, find better balance, boost your mood and enhance recovery from physical and mental stress.