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Mindful Movements for Stress Relief

When dealing with stress and feeling unmotivated because of it, have you ever considered using physical activity and exercise for relief? If you haven’t, you’re not alone! Despite being one of the main methods recommended by healthcare professionals, only about 14 percent of people make use of exercise to cope with stress. It’s important to take the time to ensure that our minds feel healthy in order to keep our bodies healthy. So during Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re here to help guide you in implementing mental wellness and ways to reduce stress in your fitness journey.


Exercise for Stress Relief

Did you know that an excess of stress can slow down your fitness progress and make it harder to reach your goals? If your body is constantly releasing stress hormones, they will hinder muscle strength and growth. The good news is that you can use certain kinds of exercise to relieve stress like running, dancing, swimming, etc. If you’re looking for variety in what you can do, check out the vast number of amenities you’ll find at your local Fitness Connection. Allowing stress to build up can also cause you to lose motivation and can be a serious roadblock in your fitness journey. High stress levels can lead to both physical and mental fatigue when unchecked over extended periods, this is why maintaining your mental wellness is just as important as your physical strength. 

Exercise is a Mood Booster

Studies suggest that regular exercise can independently reduce the risk of depression. This is because regular exercise is a great way to have a consistent release of serotonin and endorphins, chemicals naturally found in the body that cause feelings of happiness, contributing to an overall boost in your mood. Exercise in a single gym session can almost instantly help your mood for a few hours, but a consistent routine can help maintain your mind in a healthy state on a regular basis. Exercises don’t need to be all-out; you can perform easy 30-minute sessions of calisthenics, aerobics, or cardio to help create a routine for your mind and body.

Stress vs. Recovery

An overload of stress can affect your performance and overall muscle strength, leading to less effective workouts and poor recovery. Mental stress can accumulate and contribute to physical strain when left unchecked, causing setbacks, and making you feel physically and mentally weaker. High-intensity, interval-based workouts are a good way to take out that stress and turn it into something positive— a feeling of achievement and relief. At Fitness Connection you can find a variety of high-intensity group classes to help you push through a rut. It’s important to consider that recovery is all about recuperating your muscles and relaxing the body in order to do so. Some activities for recovery days to try out are:

  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Using a sauna
  • Walking
  • Stretching

These lighter activities help you recover properly by putting your body in a state of relaxation and clearing your mind to stay stress-free.

Maintaining a Stress-Free Fitness Journey

Staying stress-free 100 percent of the time is impossible, but being mindful of when it happens will be one of the most valuable things in your fitness journey. Think about it like a road trip: there are many ways to get to your destination, some faster or more appealing than others, but it’s important to choose the path that will be best for you in the long run. Remember to take the time this month to implement mindfulness in your routine. If you are looking to exercise to relieve stress, there are a variety of happening at your local Fitness Connection for Mental Health Awareness Month alongside different group classes, personal training, and endless space and equipment waiting for you when you join!