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5 Exercises that Cure Stress

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It is a well-known fact that breakouts can happen at times of stress. It becomes a vicious circle of getting stressed and then getting a pimple and then getting stressed about the pimple!  Today we are going to help you break the cycle with a range of exercises that will have you looking and feeling your best!   When you exercise, your body releases endorphin's, which are natural feel-good hormones that fight stress, improve mood, self-esteem, quality of sleep and energy. It also promotes the growth of new brain cells that die under chronic stress! Here are 5 exercises to try!

1. Swimming - Swimming is a great way to drown-out stress and anxiety as you enjoy every stroke. Other than being a fun way to exercise, swimming also works muscles  in both the upper and lower body, which helps in weight management. Sometimes just five minutes of losing yourself in the water is all you need to regain your positive spirit. Tip: If you know you'll struggle to leave the house again after you've returned from work, pack your swim bag the night before and choose a pool on your route home.

2. Going for a long walk outside - Long-distance walking and other outdoor activities provide a change of scenery and a dose of fresh air, both of which can help clear your mind. Studies have shown that walking briskly (about three to four kilometres an hour) can reduce your risk of developing life-threatening diseases and can be a super social activity if you want it to be, and you can do it anywhere. Admittedly, walking is easier and more pleasurable if you live near a park, hiking trails, or in a neighbourhood with well-maintained sidewalks and tree-lined streets. However, unless you live in a particularly rough neighbourhood, you can walk pretty much anywhere. (You can also save up and buy a treadmill, but walking outdoors is both more fun and better for your mood.) Take advantage of the sunny weather we have been having lately, and reconnect with nature!

3. Kickboxing - Kickboxing is a powerful means of reducing stress and you can get quite a rigorous workout in a kickboxing class. The act of hitting a punch bag is also a brilliant medium of removing frustration that may have built up over time, allowing you to be refreshed and reinvigorated by the sessions. It is a great way to work out frustration as it involves controlled punching and kicking movements carried out with discipline. Kickboxing regularly will help improve your balance, flexibility, and coordination. 

4. Pilates - Pilates, named after their creator, Joseph Pilates, is designed to build your strength, flexibility, and endurance. Pilates is an anaerobic (as opposed to aerobic) exercise so it’s a great stress reliever.  It is a series of controlled movements and mat exercises that tones your body, which in turn helps you look good and feel better. You can take classes at a Pilates studio or at a gym, or use DVDs and home equipment if you prefer to practice on your own. 

5. Tai Chi - Similar to yoga, Tai Chi is a series of self-paced, flowing body movements and breathing techniques. Although the movements have their roots in martial arts, they are meant to calm the mind and condition the body. According to recent studies, this mind-body practice has many health benefits, Tai chi can help build bone density, lower blood pressure, boost the immune system, and even ease symptoms of conditions like heart failure and arthritis. 

If you have been feeling stressed or anxious, engaging in any of these five exercises can go a long way in helping you cope! Check back in next week, when we will be discussing how to deal with skin and relationship breakups!

See you then! 

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