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New Study Says This One Type of Workout Is a Huge Stress Reducer for Your Mental Health

 New Study Says This One Type of Workout Is a Huge Stress Reducer for Your Mental Health. 

Study after study has proven that physical activity does wonders for your mental health and overall happiness, from reducing anxiety to increasing cognitive function to providing you with an easy way to meet people who share your interests. However, we know that not everyone has the time or motivation to hit the gym three times a week—and sometimes it’s hard enough just to get out of bed in the morning! Luckily, there’s one type of workout that takes just 15 minutes, involves only one piece of equipment (a chair), and can be done at home without any prior training.

New Study Says This One Type of Workout Is a Huge Stress Reducer for Your Mental Health

Exercise is Medicine

While exercise is often touted as one of your best bets for reducing stress and improving mental health, its therapeutic benefits have not always been fully appreciated. Now new research shows just how effective exercise can be in fighting anxiety and stress. For example, one study found that regular exercisers reported feeling calmer and more emotionally stable than non-exercisers. Another study found that runners who put in at least 30 minutes per day were 40 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure than people who did not exercise. A third study revealed that women in their 20s with high levels of physical fitness (based on an assessment) had higher self-esteem scores compared to sedentary women or men with low fitness levels.

Physical Activity Doesn’t Always Have to Involve Going to the Gym

Although research shows that regular workouts—in addition to being good for your physical health—can have significant benefits when it comes to reducing stress and improving mental health, not everyone is inclined to visit a gym. If you’re an active person who still struggles with stress, though, one new study suggests you might want to reconsider that no-gym rule. According to research published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, researchers from Duke University found that fitness doesn’t necessarily mean going all out on an intense workout; instead, exercise—at least moderate activity—can be as simple as taking some time each day to walk around your neighborhood or neighborhood park. As it turns out, anything more than three miles is enough to make you feel less stressed.

Start with Walking (It Really Does Help!)

Exercise is one of the most powerful weapons in your war against stress. A study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that people who engaged in regular physical activity had lower levels of stress, anxiety, and depression than those who didn't exercise. Walking is one type of exercise that all ages can partake in easily; it's free, easy to do, and requires no special equipment. Just aim to walk 10,000 steps per day. If you already have a fitness routine—great! Just add walking into your schedule at least five days per week. Aim to walk each time you work out to maximize your efforts and mental health benefits.

Do What Makes You Feel Comfortable

A new study says that not all workout regimens are created equal. Some can actually increase your levels of stress. But one particular workout method has been proven to reduce stress—and it's one you might not expect: doing nothing. Scientists at UCLA and UC Berkeley analyzed data from thousands of adults in Texas and found that women who were inactive had higher levels of stress, depression, and anxiety. However, when those same women began doing even light activities like gardening or cleaning, their stress levels dropped significantly within six months. So if you have trouble cutting back on stressful situations in your life, make sure to carve out time for yourself to do what makes you feel comfortable—even if it's just taking a walk outside or reading a book in your free time.

Take Care of Your Body

While it's not possible to reduce stress and anxiety by thinking about good things all day, it is possible to reduce stress and anxiety by taking care of your body. That's because when we're worried, stressed, or anxious our bodies can sense that too. A study on stress found that exercise was one of the most common ways people took care of their bodies in response to stress. In fact, 61 percent of respondents said they exercised in response to mental health issues while 51 percent turned to yoga and 43 percent meditated. The lesson here? If you want to lower your stress levels, take time each day—even if it's just 10 minutes—to nourish your body with something that helps you relax.

Join an Existing Group (There Are Plenty of Mental Health Exercises Out There!)

Whether you’re looking to fight anxiety or stress, there are plenty of mental health exercises out there that can help. Try joining a running group, Pilates class, hiking club, or volunteering with animals. There’s no denying that exercise is good for your physical and mental health—and it seems to be especially effective at helping with stress and anxiety! So get out there and do some exercise; it might just be one huge stress reducer for your mental health.

Get Moving!

One of your top priorities should be to take care of your body. Fitness can help reduce stress, and anxiety and boost your immune system. A study from Stanford University found that long-term exercise is actually one huge stress reducer for mental health. It was also found that those who exercised consistently reported fewer instances of anxiety. And if you don’t have time to exercise, it’s just as important to make time for yourself by practicing other forms of self-care like meditation or doing yoga, which help keep both your mind and body healthy. The bottom line is: Exercise can be an effective way to reduce stress and improve your overall health!

This One Type of Workout Is a Huge Stress Reducer, New Study Says — Eat This Not That

If you’re stressed out and can’t fall asleep at night, taking a relaxing walk after dinner or doing some strength training before bed may be just what you need to relieve stress. A new study in Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging found that people who engaged in yoga and meditation were able to reduce their anxiety levels through activity in one part of their brain. The findings suggest that mindfulness-based stress reduction programs could help treat depression, anxiety disorders, PTSD and even eating disorders. Plus, there are so many great workouts you can do!

The study found that virtual workouts may lower anxiety and psychosocial stress responses when compared to in-person exercise

In their study, researchers compared virtual workouts to standard gym exercises and discovered that while each workout resulted in its own unique stress response, one had more significant benefits. It may be easier to sneak in a fitness session when you can do it at home or even right after work—and exercise is an important part of maintaining mental health. But now, new research shows that working out virtually may help some people better manage their stress responses. In fact, The results indicated that participants showed significantly lower psychosocial stress responses when they exercised virtually than they did with traditional exercise, said lead author David Houghton.

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