4 Quick and Easy Exercises That Kill Stress

work, stress, paperwork

Stressed man at work | Source: iStock

Warding off stress is a daily battle for most people. Perhaps the most effective and efficient way to deal with stress is to have a plan in place as to how to deal with it, depending on your personality and preferences. Some people can calm themselves down with scented candles, for example. Others listen to soothing music. But one of the most effective stress relievers is one that is deceptively simple. Exercise.

Yes, getting the blood flowing or simply getting some physical activity in can do wonders for your mood and stress levels. Many people lead relatively sedentary lives, moving from chair to chair — be it at home, to your car or bus, and then to a desk. Without getting any kind of physical exertion during the course of the day (assuming you don’t make time to go to the gym), you can bottle up all of your frustrations and stresses, and eventually “pop.” That might mean you have a heart attack or stroke, or make a bad decision like buying a sports car when you can’t afford it.

So, in order to keep things from reaching that level, having a few simple, easy, stress-relieving exercises in your holster can make your day go by a lot easier. Here are a few that you can try out — which should, at the very least, help you get some more activity in.

1. Walking

walking, street

Walking is great for stress management | Source: iStock

It doesn’t get much more quick and easy than walking. Experts say you should be getting up and getting some walking in every so often anyway, and it can also be a great way to reset your mind and get some fresh air. You’ll get the blood pumping, endorphins rushing, and ward off fatigue while giving yourself an energy boost. If you simply can’t get away from work, try suggesting a walking meeting to your cohorts — the meditative state of mind you achieve while walking may help spur creativity and get everyone on a more productive level.

2. Yoga

Source: iStock

Man getting ready to do yoga | Source: iStock

No, you don’t need to go all-out and go into a full yoga routine in order to get some of the benefits — just a few simple yoga moves is all it takes to help take the edge off. Yoga has been shown to have a slew of health benefits, although many men have been slow or reluctant to even give it a shot. The Cheat Sheet has dug into the benefits of yoga previously, and they include helping to hit weight-loss goals, relieve pain, and of course, deal with stress. Though it may be unorthodox for a lot of men, giving yoga a shot could be just what’s needed to relieve stress.

3. Neck rolls

Source: iStock

You can do this one right at your desk | Source: iStock

OK, walking was pretty easy and painless, but this might be even easier. If you don’t have the option of getting up from your desk or from your work station, you’ll simply have to make due with the limited space available. Try doing some neck rolls — simply rolling your head from side to side, and around in a circle. This is, at its core, a very simple method to stretch out your neck, which can help you loosen some of the tension in your shoulders. This can be particularly great if you’ve been sitting with poor posture all day or straining to see your computer screen.

4. Hitting the punching bag

David Leeds/Getty Images /Allsport

Take to a punching bag to blow off steam | David Leeds/Getty Images

This may not be quite as peaceful and relaxing as the other exercises listed, but sometimes it’s best to embrace your inner 14-year old Limp Bizkit fan and set out to “break stuff.” It may not be as easy or simple, but it sure can be a good stress reliever. Punching something may just be the ultimate stress reliever, and if you have access to a gym or fitness center that has some punching bags, give it a whirl. It may be the release you’ve always been looking for.

Of course, you’ll still need to find a way to center yourself, so don’t rely completely on violent thrashing. Just see if you can use it as a short-term steam release.

Follow Sam on Twitter @Sliceofginger

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