Best Way to Exercise to Reduce Stress

Taking regular exercise is the single most important thing you can do to promote physical and mental fitness and to keep stress at bay. Exercise cuts your risk of heart attacks, helps prevent osteoporosis, and can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. It makes you sleep better, boosts your energy, raises self-esteem, and ensures you look and feel great. So why do so most of us do so little?

Lack of time is one of the main reasons. But what if you could get all the benefits in just ten minutes?

Exercise to Reduce Stress Best Way to Exercise to Reduce Stress

In the past experts have recommended that adults should all be doing at least thirty minutes continuous sweat-your-socks-off aerobic activity at least three times a week. But traditional guidelines have been superseded by the latest research, which recommends that we should accumulate twenty to thirty minutes of moderate physical activity most days a week Even better news for the time-impoverished is that you do not have to do it all in one go. It can be done in two or three ten-minute sessions, which makes it much easier to achieve.

Ten-minute sessions are ideal not only if you have little time to spare (or little inclination!), but if you are currently not used to exercising. Experience shows that you are much more likely to stick with an exercise routine if you do not try to do too much, too soon. The hardest thing is to get started, but bear in mind that any activity counts. Incorporating simple exercise routines into your daily life can be just as beneficial as anything you can do at the gym, and there’s little to be gained from pounding away at a treadmill if you are screaming with boredom – or comatose – after a few minutes. Forget it, and find something that engages your mind as well as your body. The slow, controlled movements of t’ai chi, pilates and above all yoga, mother of all exercise, are ideal for relieving both. Do ten minutes of stretching at home while you watch your favourite television programme, or work out with an exercise video. Put on some dance music and move to the beat.

Walking is one of the best all-round forms of exercise and the easiest to fit into even the busiest of schedules. Make a habit of ditching the car and walking or cycling for any distance less than a mile, or get off the bus, train or taxi a mile or two before the office or your home and take a brisk ten-minute walk. Three hours’ walking a week -less than half an hour a day, which you can break into ten-minute slots – not only relieves stress, but has the added benefit that it cuts your risk of heart disease by 40 per cent.

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