Stress. We all experience it— some of us more than we’d like to, and it’s not realistic to think we can get rid of all of life’s stressors, but when stress becomes overwhelming, it directly impacts our health. Research shows that chronic negative stress, also known as distress, can lead to headaches, problems sleeping, breakouts, and upset stomach to name a few. But amid the various ways to manage distress, calming workouts are an extremely beneficial tool to lower stress levels and support overall wellness.
5 Calming Workouts To Try
A low-impact, calming workout is the first place to begin to help manage those worries, and we’re sharing some of our go-to workouts when we’re looking to unleash our inner Zen.
Yoga is an excellent go-to. Whether you’re a beginner or expert, we have yoga classes for all levels.
Try incorporating one of these yoga flow’s into your morning or evening routine to help recenter.
Meditation is a mental reset of sorts, the key to connecting to yourself and your body, which can better prepare you for whatever life throws your way. When you get rid of outside distractions and focus on breath work, you can clear out any clutter that might be hindering your ability to make calm decisions.
Try these quick and centering meditations.
- Deep Body Relax with Amanda Gilbert
- Visualize Joy with Vytas
- Inviting Ease with DeAndre Sinette
- Visualize Calmness with DeAndre Sinette
Stretching is a physical reset. It helps to elongate our muscles, improve posture, and reduce tension that might be lingering from poor sleep or a previous workout. It’s an underutilized, overlooked calming workout that should be incorporated into a daily routine. Simple, seemingly insignificant aches add to our overall mood. But when our body is relaxed, it is easier to handle the metaphorical weight that stress oftentimes adds to our shoulders.
At the beginning or end of your day, try:
- Stretch and Lengthen to open your hips and lengthen your muscle fibers
- There’s also Get Stretchy or Power Down for a good morning boost or evening wind down.
KINRGY is a great alternative for those seeking a little more movement in their calming workout. It connects movement to the mind through sculpting motions.
Press play on one of Julianne Hough’s KINRGY classes!
Any sort of dance fitness is a sweat worthy but low-impact cardio workout that can produce sensations of happiness while moving to some music.
Not only will you feel great in the moment, but doing any of these exercises two to three times a week is a great form of exercise and may help you reduce feelings of stress. It’s a win-win!
The Benefits of Low-Impact Workouts On Stress
Now that we’ve covered the exercises themselves, it’s time to touch upon why you should do them. The importance of incorporating low-impact, calming workouts into a workout routine comes with its fair share of benefits.
Doing an aerobic exercise for just 20 minutes a day can leave you feeling relaxed for hours. When we exercise, our brain produces more dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins, which boost our mood, and reduce the stress hormones of cortisol and adrenaline. This rebalance of hormones may help regulate our sleep and help us feel more relaxed.
A calming workout also slows our heart rate, redirects our focus, and provides the mind-body connection. During exercise, our minds are focused on the task at hand rather than outside worries.
Take It One Day At a Time
If you’re feeling overstressed, try one of these calming workouts each day, and customize it to your taste. You can try Kinrgy, yoga, or dance with a group of friends either virtually or in a spacious environment. If you have problems focusing on your breathing or stretching indoors, take your reset activities outside and reconnect to nature.
Remember, we all have stress, and living a totally stress-free life isn’t a realistic goal. But, with some simple stress-busting activities, like trying one of these calming workouts, you may find some of the day to day stressors just a bit easier to manage — plus, any form of exercise is excellent for overall wellbeing.
Here’s to unleashing our inner Zen.