It’s stress awareness month! Click here for relaxing tips and tricks on fitness, nutrition, mind-body-spirit, and skin care.
I can’t think of a better way to de-stress than releasing anxiety with some form of exercise, whether it be spin class or something as simple as walking up the stairs. Steve Gratkins, M.S., exercise physiologist at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona, agrees and offers the following expert fitness and health tips to de-stress.
Take a moment and reflect, Gratkins says. “Sometimes stress is unavoidable and some is self-created. Take an honest self-assessment: Are my expectations too high?”
De-stress by changing things that add anxiety to your life. “Allow more time to get places and stop procrastinating and over-scheduling,” he advises.
“We stop breathing when we’re stressed, [so] take slow, deep breaths; the more connected with your breath you are, the calmer you will become,” Gratkins shares. “Consider trying a yoga class, or take some time to breathe and mediate at your home or in a comfort zone.”
To manage stress, make it a regular practice to do something that fills you with a sense of peace, connectedness, and joy, he goes on.
As well, “Exercise is a great way to de-stress. It keeps your body and mind healthy, boosts your endorphins, and relieves tension.”
De-stress by doing things you enjoy, he says. “Get outside! Talk a walk, a hike, go rollerblading, swimming, biking. These are all great ways to relieve tension and stress while working on cardiovascular health.”
Gratkins recommends lifting weights: “Exercise boosts endurance, and when you achieve a new goal like going for that bigger weight, you boost your confidence and feel satisfied,” he reveals.
Exercise with friends. “Working out with friends can help you de-stress,” Gratkins offers. “It gives you time to vent while getting fit! Take a class together, go for a hike, or try something completely new like a Canyon Ranch Aerial Yoga Clinic, Drumming Circle, or if you want to kick it up a notch, try Tabata!”
Finally, “The overall best way to de-stress is to focus on living an overall healthy lifestyle. Always take into your consideration body, mind, and spirit,” Gratkins adds.