How does exercise help to relieve stress?

 Wed 14th July 2021     Written by Pete Ebbutt

Exercise improves our health and wellbeing, providing us with enhanced fitness levels and leaving the body at its peak. Physical activity is particularly key for stress release, as it pumps up your endorphins, reducing the negative effects of stress whilst improving your overall mood. 

It is generally advised that you take part in a minimum of 30 minutes exercise at least 5 times a week, and this includes at least 2 sessions of muscle-strengthening workouts. This may involve exercises such as weight lifting or working with resistance bands.

Below, the experts here at Parkway Fitness have identified specific forms of exercise that act effectively in reducing stress levels and anxiety: 

Running and/or walking

Running and walking are both forms of exercise that are good for stress-relief. 

Just half an hour of walking a day allows you to clear your mind and can substantially reduce your stress levels. This is particularly important following the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, over 60% of adults have found relief from COVID-stress in nature! 

This is also important if you work in an office job – sitting still all day can cause irritability, which can consequently cause you unwanted stress and tension. It’s therefore essential that you keep your body moving when you can. 

If you’re going out on a walk or going for a run, make sure you pick a pace that is comfortable for you. Over time, as you get more confident when exercising, you can build on this and slowly increase both your pace and your resistance. 

Circuit training

Circuit training usually involves a mix of weight-training and cardio, with short breaks between sets. Circuit training can also be described as a HIIT workout, a form of exercise that offers the same benefits of longer workouts, but in a shorter time frame of around 30 minutes or less.

This short but intense workout pumps the body endorphin level, reducing stress and leaving you with a sense of satisfaction. Endorphins are the body’s natural feel-good chemicals and when they are released through exercise, your mood is naturally boosted and any stress and tension is generally released. 

As well as endorphins, exercise also releases serotonin, adrenaline and dopamine – all chemicals that work together to help you feel good. 

Lifting weights

Weight lifting doesn’t always have to be about getting bigger and stronger – it can create positive focus. Driving all of your negative energy into your lifting can allow you to meet your targets and push to create new goals, all whilst reducing your stress levels. 

Weight training also allows you to work unused adrenaline through your system, which can help you to sleep better and feel less stressed throughout the day. 


Yoga is a form of strength training and it can be done with others or on your own. It allows you to become more flexible and resilient, relieving any physical tension and stress you may be under whilst providing you with a sense of calm and satisfaction. 

Studies have also show that yoga can help to reduce blood pressure and improve your overall health and wellbeing. This is because by regularly practising simple postures and breathing techniques, you can help to control your blood pressure whilst relieving stress and soothing any nerves.

Parkway Fitness

Are you looking to reduce your stress levels? If so, here at Parkway Fitness, we can provide you with both new and used gym equipment and offer a wide range of weight training equipment.

For more information about the equipment available to you and the products that we offer, speak to a member of staff on 01527 529 191 or take a look at our social media.

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