Release Stress with Movement
Whether you’re a fitness newbie or endurance competitor, moving can be an effective way to reduce stress. Discover the connection between movement and stress-release and how you can reap the most stress-releasing benefits.
The easiest way reap the stress-releasing benefits is to make movement a part of your healthy lifestyle every day. Any type of exercise, from a brisk walk around the neighborhood to yoga to marathons, can help with stress-release. That’s because being active can boost the production of your brain’s feel-good chemicals, also known as endorphins. You may have heard the term “runner’s high,” but this feeling isn’t just for runners. Most any type of movement can contribute to the same positive and energizing feeling.
It’s recommended to get moving for at least two and a half hours each week at a moderate to vigorous level. For even more benefits aim for five hours each week and combine both strength and cardio training. The good news is that you don’t have to do it all at once! You can break it up into 10 minute intervals throughout the day.1
Getting moving any time of day can give you more energy, but I recommend starting your day with a morning full of movement. This will give you an opportunity to do something for yourself and help you will feel like you have the energy to tackle whatever the day has in store.
No time to get to the gym in the morning? Try an at-home workout that doesn’t require weights. Hold a plank longer than you ever have before. Or zen out with a quick yoga practice. If you get tired sitting at your desk job all day, take a break with office yoga.
Movement can help improve your sleep, which is often disrupted if you are feeling stressed. To get a the most sleep-promoting benefits, try to moving outdoors where you can enjoy fresh air, natural light and take in the calm of nature around you. Being exposed to natural light during the day can improve sleep by reinforcing your body’s sleep-wake cycle as well.
What is my favorite stress-releasing movement you ask? Cooking! I like to try new recipe variations, like this pizza and move around the kitchen. Everything from grocery shopping to washing the dishes adds movement to my day. Bonus: I get to relax and enjoy the beautiful meal I created afterwards. Talk about stress-releasing!
How has movement released stress from your life? Let me know in the comments below.
1. World Health Organization. (2014). Physical Activity and Adults. Retrieved April 29, 2014, from