HOW DOES EXERCISE REDUCE STRESS?
Time to read 4 min
Time to read 4 min
Are you feeling stressed? Don’t stress; breathe in, then out, and keep reading because there are solutions.
There are countless ways to remedy symptoms of stress, but we want to focus on one in particular: exercise. Get in tune with your body and break a thought-cleansing sweat by working out.
And no, we don’t mean deadlift 200kgs; a simple run around the block can help you reduce stress and start to relax.
Exercise is one of the most effective ways to alleviate stress and anxiety, helping your brain release endorphins that serve as natural painkillers. If you can work up a consistent exercise regime, whether it’s three days a week or seven, your brain will regularly be encouraged to release endorphins that can help you improve your mood (Jamias, J. 2019).
Let’s run through some of the best benefits of exercise:
Boosts your Mood
When you lace up your joggers and engage in physical activity, your brain and body produce hormones and neurotransmitters that positively influence your mood, memory, energy and well-being (Stibich, M. 2020).
Your body and muscles may feel tired after a good session, but you will feel more relaxed, accomplished, confident and relieved, and that build-up of tension within your mind and muscles will be reduced in the aftermath.
A good night’s sleep can help lower your stress, just like exercise, so it’s certainly convenient that exercise can also enhance the quality of your sleep.
Exercising frequently can improve physical function, with moderate-to-vigorous exercise supporting increased sleep quality in adults. Exercise promotes sleep by reducing the time it takes to fall asleep while alleviating daytime sleepiness and (in some cases) reducing the need for sleep supplements (Pacheco, D. 2022).
Improves your Blood Circulation
Physical activity enhances your body’s ability to use oxygen and improves blood flow. Both of these increments can directly affect your brain. On top of improving your blood circulation, exercise can help to lower your blood pressure (Madell, R. 2020)
It’s not always easy to find the time to exercise, particularly if the bulk of your stress comes from a busy schedule. Don’t feel the need to exercise for hours, day after day or hold yourself to a tight, unwavering workout schedule. Regularly exercising to reduce stress doesn’t need that invasive level of control (Madell, R. 2020).
The American Heart Association (AHA) suggest getting at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week. That’s just two & a half hours out of your whole week!
For the best convenience and satisfaction, you can break those 2.5 hours down into five 30-minute sessions each week. If that still isn’t convenient, further separating them into two 15-minute exercises or three 10-minute sessions can prove equally effective.
We want to make this as easy as possible because the last thing you need while reducing stress is the added stress of trying to figure out which exercises will provide the most significant support for stress relief. Let’s take a deep dive!
Yoga supports stress management by making you more resilient and flexible, with yoga postures serving as a form of strength training. Yoga also harnesses deep breathing, which triggers the body’s relaxation response (Hanley, K. 2017).
This one is straightforward. Just run. Lace up your joggers, open an energetic playlist on Spotify and go for a run.
Running has a range of health benefits and can improve your mental health, memory and ability to learn. When you run, endorphins and serotonin are released in your body - these chemicals improve your mood and can lessen feelings of anxiety and stress (WebMD. 2021).
Just like running, swimming can alleviate stress by producing endorphins and serotonin, which can energise and boost your mental health. Swimming gets your whole body moving and can burn almost as many calories as running.
Swimming gives you feelings of relaxation and positivity because of the long muscle movements and deep breathing that swimming requires. Swimming can stimulate the brain and release stress-reducing hormones while creating feelings of calmness (McDaniel, C. 2015).
Just like running and swimming, cycling produces endorphins that will relax your mind and make you happier. Cycling can boost your mood and self-esteem while helping you get a better night’s sleep.
HIIT Training (High-Intensity Interval Training)
HIIT Training is a form of training that involves switching between short periods of intense or explosive anaerobic training with brief periods of recovery until the point of exhaustion.
HIIT Training can support stress relief while giving you a great workout and is easy enough to do in the comfort of your home. Exercises like dumbbell dead bugs, TRX push-ups, forearm planks, burpees, and renegade rows are all examples of HIIT workouts that can alleviate your stress (Livingston, M. 2022).
Tai Chi is derived from an ancient Chinese martial art and can reduce stress by bridging physical movement to breathing while also boosting flexibility and energy (Hanley, K. 2017).
We’ve all experienced stress and anxiety from time to time in our lives. Whether in short spells or extended periods of stress, you’re not suffering alone, and there are plenty of resources that can help you improve your situation.
Exercising more frequently can do wonders for your mental and physical health, and incorporating it into your busy week can lower your stress and restore your peace of mind.
If you’re struggling to find that motivation or genuinely can’t find the energy, we stock a range of health & well-being supplements across our 32 Australian stores that can help you find the energy to train, improve the quality of your training and support your overall mental health.
Whether in or out of shape, our friendly staff can provide meaningful advice and help you find the best products to support your goals online or in-store.
Don’t waste another minute. Break free from your stress and release those happy endorphins with a clarity-inducing exercise.
Jamias, J. 2019, ‘How Exercise Reduces Stress and Anxiety’, Select Health, accessed 1 December 2022,
Stibich, M. 2020, ‘The Best Forms of Exercise to Improve Your Mood’, Verywellmind, accessed 1 December 2022,
Pacheco, D. 2022, ‘Exercise and Sleep’, Sleep Foundation, accessed 1 December 2022,
Madell, R. 2020, ‘Exercise as Stress Relief’, Healthline, accessed 1 December 2022,
Hanley, K. 2017, ‘9 Exercises for Stress Relief’, Everyday Health, accessed 1 December 2022,
WebMD. 2021, ‘Mental Health Benefits of Running’, WebMD, accessed 1 December 2022,
McDaniel, C. 2017, ‘Swim Stress Away: 5 Mental Health Benefits Of Swimming’, Clear Comfort, accessed 1 December 2022,
Livingstone, M. 2022, ‘Naturallly Reduce Stress With These 8 Anxiety-Fighting Exercises’, CNET, accessed 1 December 2022,