National Stress Awareness Month 2019
Every April sees the return of Stress Awareness Month, which serves to increase public awareness about both the causes and cures for stress.
Exercise has proven benefits for reducing stress. Here Gareth Lewis PT from Burnley has rounded up five of the best stress-busting exercise classes.
This type of class is ideal for using the music to help relax you and take you elsewhere. During the routines the instructors use different strengths of resistance and speeds to make the classes harder strength wise or cardiovascular. In turn, your body then releases endorphins giving you a sense of euphoria, thus helping alleviate the worries caused by day to day stresses.
Whilst these come under the same bracket, the two types of exercise are slightly different in getting to the stress-free state. Boxercise is more of a shadow boxing style work out using the cardiovascular element of working out, getting you to the point your body releases endorphins. Boxing, however, is quicker with the use of pad work, punching bags or sparring. You are using the sensation of your gloves hitting the object – whether it’s the bag, pads or a person – to help relax your mind but work your body, again to release endorphins.
This type of training is very similar to boxing in many ways. Although you are not punching something, you experience a similar feeling when using your own body weight to push or lift yourself up. These exercises help to take your mind off the stresses, and combined with the heart-elevating workout, again releases endorphins and makes you feel better.
Yoga is a mind and body type exercise class, using physical poses as well as meditation and relaxation. All these elements put together will take your mind off your day and help you to relax. It can also help reduce your blood pressure and lower your heart rate, which are all indicative of stress.
The stress-alleviating nature of Pilates is evident in the very nature of class, with the principle of breath. Breathing oxygenates the blood and the body’s response is to relax the brain or calm down. Pilates also has a fantastic physiological response, causing the body to relieve anxiety and stress.
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