Working Out to Fight Stress

staying fit

Written by Greg Marshall, Fiture Metamorphosis

In today’s high paced world, stress is a serious problem that requires proactive steps to alleviate, so life can be lived at the highest level. What I want to do is share the best ways to work out to reduce stress.

#1 Compound Exercises

The first strategy to focus on when working out to reduce stress is to choose compound exercises that will get multiple muscle groups working all at once. An example would be doing exercises such as squats, deadlifts, power push presses or any other move that involves more than just one muscle group.

Compound movements require exertion and concentration, which will help release some of the stress and tension you’ve been carrying around. You’ll find your mind can’t dwell on the stresses of life when you’re in the middle of a set of compound movements.

#2 High Intensity Cardio

The second strategy to reduce stress is to choose high intensity cardio sessions. Whether you do the treadmill, bike, run up some hills, or anything else that is cardio related, you’ll increase your heart rate.

When your heart rate increases, you are pushing yourself. Therefore, you will increase the body’s natural endorphins which will decrease the stress in your body. You will notice that you feel much more relaxed and positive when you are getting your heart rate elevated. Steady state cardio can help alleviate stress as well, but not as much as high intensity training, in my opinion.

#3 Yoga

The third workout strategy to reduce the stress in the body is yoga. Yoga is a form of exercise that is highly underrated when it comes to working out. Yoga teaches you how to be present in the moment, which is really good for your mental state as well as for flexibility and strengthening the body.

When you are performing yoga several times per week one thing that you’ll notice is that it quiets the noise in your head. Yoga increases discipline because it teaches you how to breathe, relax, and control your body, which will in turn control your mind.

Stress is usually caused by not being able to redirect your thoughts into something positive, so by doing the exercises above you will be able to start reducing your stress and feeling better on a daily basis.

These three exercises, along with other workouts, are a great for relieving not only stress, but also depression and anxiety. Depression is often characterized by depleted levels of certain neurotransmitters, which are chemical messengers that relay messages from brain to body. Researchers at the University of California at Davis Medical Center recently conducted a study showing that exercise helps replenish these neurotransmitters.

In the perfect world, you would want to rotate these techniques throughout the week to add variety to your workouts so you stay engaged all week. These are just a few different workout ideas and strategies that you can use to change the way you feel and how you perform at work, home, and with your family on a day-to-day basis.


Greg Marshall is the co-owner of Fiture Metamorphosis, which offers one-on-one training, nutrition coaching, and lifestyle modification coaching at locations in Utah and Nevada. Check out their blog for more tips:

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