How does exercising help reduce stress?

In a way, it’s always seemed to me that exercise could increase stress since you’re pushing muscles and heart to work harder. And I can see where there’s some types of exercise that would, in fact, increase stress. Such as, when I see someone working out using improper alignment and swinging heavy weights all over the place just because they saw someone else do that or at some point in their lives someone told them to do it that way. There are a lot of other examples of “stressful” exercise practice but today I want to focus on the positive. Relieving stress is a huge reason to work out. But, that needs to be the intention going into your exercise practice.

By listening to your body and using a disciplined practice such as mindful fitness it’s truly amazing how you can de-stress and restore body and mind.

4 key things to focus on in order to reduce stress through exercise:

  • being aware of your body- If you’re tight somewhere don’t push. Come away from it and breathe into it.
  • restorative exercises- Take time to observe the alignment of your spine in reclined thigh-over-thigh twist.
  • breathe-
  • intersperse countermoves into the workout- For example- push-ups into backbend to open the chest.