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  • Writer's pictureBrittany Dixon

Exercise to Reduce Stress

Stress has become so common in our daily lives that we almost ignore it as an issue. Many people consider it normal because if you want to have it all, this is the price you pay, especially if you are a woman. While it is true that you cannot go through life sans pressure, there are multitudes of ways to reduce stress and live more healthily. If you are aiming towards success, you need to face these issues head-on, not ignore them.

So, Glampions, let’s see what we can do to relieve stress and incorporate healthy routines into our lives! First, we need to understand what happens to our body when we experience stress and further acknowledge possible ways to decrease it. Only then will we be able to care for ourselves the right way.

What happens to our bodies when we are stressed?

Believe it or not, stress can manifest in different ways through our bodies. Sometimes, we are not even aware that we are under pressure, but occurrences or changes in our bodies signalize that something is wrong. Here are some common symptoms that happen to our bodies due to stress:

  • Headaches

  • Depression

  • Insomnia

  • Heartburn

  • Rapid breathing

  • Weakened immune system

  • High blood sugar

  • Fertility problems

  • Pounding heart

  • Missed periods

  • Low sex drive

  • Tense muscles

These occurrences are the most common signs that your body is experiencing a certain amount of stress. They might not always be caused by stress, but there is a high chance that that may be the case. Once you notice these changes in your body, you should take them as a warning that you need to take necessary measures to reduce stress and get your life on the healthy track.

It is proven that physical activity may be one of the best solutions when it comes to reducing stress. Regular exercise can do wonders not only for your physical but also your mental health.

What happens to our bodies when we exercise, and what are the feel-good hormones?

When you incorporate exercise into your daily routine, you can expect numerous improvements in your body. First, your mood and confidence will improve, and your energy levels will increase regularly. Moreover, you will also see improvements in your blood circulation, muscle and bone strength, and ability to control your weight. Finally, you will boost your levels of good cholesterol, and you will improve your sleeping habits.

Exercising improves your immune system and physical fitness and activates hormones in your body that are responsible for promoting happiness! In other words, when you try to reduce stress through regular workout sessions, you are improving your mood – meaning you activate four hormones that impact your mood levels. These hormones include:

  • Dopamine - triggers feelings of happiness, reward, and pleasure

  • Oxytocin - causes positive emotions through social interaction

  • Serotonin - helps in balancing mood and promotes feelings of well-being

  • Endorphin - helps in overcoming pain and discomfort

What are some stress-reducing workouts we can do?

There are many workouts ranging from low intensity, like walking, up to higher intensity, like H.I.I.T. Either an excellent sweaty session can help reduce stress by releasing tension and increasing your breath work. Check out a few of our favorite low impact stress-reducing workouts and activities that cost absolutely nothing::

  • Cycling

  • Jogging or brisk walking

  • Dancing

  • Swimming

  • Yoga

Some of my higher-intensity workouts are great for getting frustration and aggression out. Here is our top choice.

  • H.I.I.T

  • Boxing

  • Tennis

  • Weight Lifting

Each of these exercise methods will increase the level of physical activity, a plus for anyone looking to get in shape. Your training method depends on your preferences and your free time during the week. Try out as many as possible and see which works best for you!

Overall, exercise is vital to manage and reducing stress levels. Therefore, make sure you stay active and take care of yourself to stay strong and happy. And we are here to support you every step of the way!

If you are new to exercise, have preexisting health conditions, or experience ongoing pain or injury, speak to your doctor before starting a workout routine.

To read more about health, well-being, and working out, make sure that you check out our blog.


Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. Last Reviewed: Oct 19, 2021

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Medically reviewed by Nicole Washington, DO, MPH — By Mary West on April 20, 2022

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