Let's face it nowadays, it's pretty easy to feel stressed, be that work, health, family, friends or a combination of things. Stress can be indicated as a precursor in multiple medical conditions so it is paramount we learn management methods.
Although smashing out a heavy session in the gym can seem very tempting, it's not necessarily the most effective relief. If your mind and hence body are not in the best state, it could be detrimental to push yourself physically and can indeed lead to more injuries.
What you are looking for is a workout that leaves you feeling refreshed and energised and hence less stressed.
Forget the traditional workouts, the new management is high-intensity continuous training”.
The way it works is you perform one repetition of an exercise every 4-6 seconds. You must keep your heart rate below 150bpm, if you go above this take longer rest phases in between. When you train within your aerobic zone, you promote recovery and activate the PNS (parasympathetic nervous system) which is responsible for rest and relaxation, the neurological dampener. This can facilitate muscle building without fatigue for your body and mind.
Try this series of exercises next time you feel stress building up.
1) Deep Squat Breathing
Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes straight ahead. Drop into a deep squat and hold onto something in front of you. Round your spine and breath deeply into your belly and back. Repeat for 5.
2) Bear Crawls
On all fours with hands under shoulders and knees under hips (knees should remain 1 inch above the floor). Crawl forward by taking a small step with your right arm and left leg at the same time and alternate. Keep your hips low and your head up. Crawl forwards 7 meters and back.
3) Turkish Get-Ups
4 reps per side. Lie on the ground with your right knee bent, right foot flat on the floor, right arm holding a weight above you. Left arm and left leg at your side. Drive through your right foot and roll onto your left elbow. Straighten your left arm. Squeeze your right glute and drive your hips straight. Pull your left leg underneath and behind your body, resting on your knee and ball of the foot. Move your torso straight up then lunge to a stand. Reverse to descend. Do 4 reps on one side and then the opposite side. NB keep your chest up and watch the weight throughout the movement.
4) Step Ups for 5 minutes
Take one step every 4-6 seconds. Alternate legs by switching feet at the top. Keep that heart rate under 150 bpm though.
Do one every 4-6 seconds. Again ensure your heart rate keeps below 150 bpm
6) Spiderman Lunge with Reach
6 reps each side - lunge forward with left leg and to the left slightly. place both hands on the floor, keep your elbows locked, press the trailing knee into the floor. Squeeze the glut of your rear leg and extend right arm to the sky while watching your hand with your eyes. Keep a neutral arch in the lower back throughout. Stand up and switch sides.
7) Foam Roll
3 minutes. This helps to relax your muscles, stimulate blood flow and improve muscle recovery. Target common areas such as calves quads hamstrings glutes ITB lower back and lats.
8) Child's Pose Breathing
Get into child's pose - sitting back on your heels with arms outstretched. Round the entire spine. Inhale breathing through your nose, expand your diaphragm and focus on pushing your belly into your thighs. Exhale every last bit of air from your lungs, hold for 1 second then inhale.