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Alter Your Mood With These Exercises
Feb 2019
Abhinav. M
ACE-CPT, Strength And Conditioning Coach

If exercise was a drug, it surely would have been the best seller in the category of drugs used to manage stress. However, in certain cases when stress levels hit the roof, exercising seems to aggravate the situation. This paradoxical effect is due to the wrong choice of exercise and intensity. Pushing the body to its limits may not be the best intervention during periods of stress. Careful planning of the training program will help us lower our stress levels significantly. Let’s have a look at few exercises that help us stay sane during periods of stress.

Stretches Focused On The Breathing
We know that stretching at the end of a workout relaxes the body and mind. This effect needs to be capitalized during stages of stress and anxiety. Adding an element of controlled breathing will increase the blood flow to the brain and release neurotransmitters that helps us fight the stress. Stretching combined with deep inhalations and exhalations increases the joint range of motion and helps us increase the flexibility of a muscle. Muscle relaxes much more rapidly when paired with proper breathing patterns.

Swimming
Of all the exercises in existence, swimming has the greatest potential to alter our mood. Half an hour in the pool at the end of a stressful day increases the blood flow to the skin and soothes the body and mind rapidly. Try not to exert much effort during the swim. Choose a pace that you are quite comfortable with and gradually build it up to a point of mid fatigue. This will ensure that your ‘feel good’ hormones are doing its job without being disturbed by excess fatigue.