• The Positive Professional

Quick Stress Buster: Hit The "Home" Gym

You'll either love or hate today’s stress buster tip. The idea is to get in an intense workout to release tension and get those feel-good endorphins pumping through your body. Trust me, it works extremely well. Even if you’re cringing at the tough, I encourage you to give it a couple of tries. Once you see just how effective a good workout is at relieving stress, you’ll be motivated to do it more often.

There’s a reason I suggest you hit the home gym. You simply want to be able to get a short and intense workout in somewhere. If neither of those are an option, buy a couple of dumbbells, grab a milk crate and figure out a workout routine that you can do at home in a pinch.

Whenever you feel particularly stressed, make sure you get a good workout in that day. You can head to the company gym on your lunch break or stop at your local one on the way home. After an intense workout and a shower, you’ll feel like a new person. By the time you get home, the stress will have melted away and you’re ready for a relaxed evening with your family and a good night's sleep.

It’s this combination of endorphins and getting more sleep that has the biggest effect when it comes to taking stress down a notch. I don’t have to tell you that everything seems a lot worse than it is when you are tired and haven’t slept well. After a good workout and particularly if you make it a regular habit, you’ll sleep better and deeper. This avoids the afternoon slump and of course the added stress. As an extra bonus, you’ll get more done throughout the day. Your productivity will increase with adequate rest.

Exercise also does a good job of distracting you from your worries. When all your attention and concentration is focused on making it through the next set, you don’t have time to wallow in what’s stressing you out. As an added bonus, all that exercise will tone your body and make you look good. With that, you’ll get a boost in confidence that also helps you get over much of what’s stressing you out. Sometimes it’s just about attitude.

Give it a try for a few days and then turn those days into weeks and months. Exercising may never become your favorite thing to do, but that’s ok. It’s a tool you can use to reduce stress and feel better. That alone should be plenty of motivation to get it done. Of course, the rest of your body and your overall health will benefit from it as well.

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