A: Any exercise that raises your heart rate is an excellent antidote to stress.
Endorphins, the chemicals your body releases when you do physical activity, help to improve your perception of pain as well as triggering positive feelings that can help you feel more optimistic and sometimes even a little euphoric – heard of the running high?
A combination often works well. If you lead a hectic life working in a busy environment, a tough cardio workout may clear your head initially but you will also be upping your levels of the stress hormone cortisol, so adding a yoga or a Tai Chi class might help you to relax minus any additional stress.
But if you’re prone to feeling sluggish, a high octane workout might be just the ticket.
Probably the most important factor if you’re looking to manage stress levels better is consistency.
Going flat out and being unable to face exercising for another week is unlikely to make you feel much better.
Building up slowly and regularly and keeping your routine rounded is likely to leave you feeling more energised and calmer within just a couple of weeks.
Try doing 20-30 minutes three times a week initially if you’re new to regular activity.
Do try and increase this though. Studies have shown exercising four or five times a week is best for de-stress.
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For more advice from Laura go to laurawilliamsonline.co.uk .