Working out may be a stress reducer, but what about when stress is preventing you from getting to the gym in the first place?
Anyone who has ever powered through an intense workout knows that the mental relief experienced afterward is euphoric. Research has long shown that working out is arguably the best way to naturally reduce stress, but this doesn’t mean that a good workout, even one done routinely, is the total solution for ending the stress one might feel on a daily basis. Stress is, unfortunately, a natural part of being human, which means mitigating its effects is the best individuals can do; a life totally free of stress is simply unobtainable. But if you’re someone who has ever put off going to the gym because you were feeling too stressed out, then you should read through the following strategies, all of which are concerned with reducing stress to a level where you can work out.
Adopt a Diet with Stress Relief in Mind
There are a plurality of foods that have been known to reduce stress (and many more which cause stress levels to skyrocket). Knowing which category the foods you consume fall into is critical, so here are some popular foods as well as their designations.
Red Peppers - These are rich in vitamin C, which means consuming them regularly will help mitigate the effects of cortisol, the body’s natural stress hormone:
Salmon - This pink fish is a great source of omega-3s—expect reduced feelings of anxiety and a natural mood boost every time you enjoy a meal that incorporates salmon
Leafy Greens - These are rich in magnesium, and research has shown that people with naturally low magnesium levels are at greater risk for depression.
Oatmeal - Oatmeal is breakfast favorite, but did you know that eating oatmeal reduces serotonin in your brain, the chemical most commonly associated with relaxation. Furthermore, complex carbs like oatmeal are digested slowly and don’t spike blood sugar.
There are a plurality of benefits associated with doing yoga routinely, and many workout enthusiasts know this. Yoga is not just a physical practice; in fact, a lot more emphasis is put on mental aspects in yoga. For this reason, yoga is great for the mind, and such is why people looking for mental clarity practice yoga on a daily basis. Below are some brief explanations regarding how yoga releases stress:
Attention to breathing - One of yoga’s foundational facets is proper breathing. Individuals who have a solid grasp of deep-breathing techniques are able to release stress in a natural way, though being able to do this definitely takes time and practice.
Yoga promotes coordination - The complexity of yoga is what makes practicing it so satisfying; moreover, the reliance on full-body coordination is exhilarating, and such a reliance will be beneficial for you in a variety of life aspects outside yoga.
While breathing and coordination are pillars on which the practice of yoga stands, they are also necessary principles that any weightlifter worth their salt must internalize.