It maybe sounds that hasn't anything to do with fitness but it has.

If someone has stress about something, lets say exams, new girlfriend, etc, not necessarily to do with the muscles. Are there workouts to help to calm myself down?

I think we all have stress, some too much some not. What workouts should someone do to calm his/her self from a stressful situation.

  • 1
    Personally, the more intense the better. A crossfit session that destroys me takes my mind off of everything else for a while. Something like rock climbing where losing focus means you fall can help, too. Many people like yoga.
    – michael
    Jan 18, 2017 at 19:05

2 Answers 2


Exercise, in general, provides stress relief because it increases brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) called Endorphins. Endorphins are “feel-good” chemicals that boost your sense of well-being. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America suggests that

“Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. About five minutes of aerobic exercise can begin to stimulate anti-anxiety effects. “

However, that's not to say that aerobic exercise is the only way to relieve stress. Again, from the ADAA,

“Psychologists studying how exercise relieves anxiety and depression suggest that a 10-minute walk may be just as good as a 45-minute workout. Some studies show that exercise can work quickly to elevate depressed mood in many people. Although the effects may be temporary, they demonstrate that a brisk walk or other simple activity can deliver several hours of relief, similar to taking an aspirin for a headache. “

And, while there doesn't seem to be a specific recommendation for types of exercise or duration, the key point is to do some form of exercise that will induce a release of endorphins. In some people, exercise provides short term relief from stress, while in others, it has not effect at all. Either way, exercising has more long term benefits than just stress relief and should be a part of any healthy lifestyle.


Stress is an interesting one, too little stress and we don't build up a tolerance to it so struggle to cope when it does hit; too much stress and we want to fold, run for a place to hide, curl up and rock slowly backwards and forwards hugging our knees to our chest, we become ill, anxious and physically suffer; but the right amount of stress, the Goldilocks zone, and we can thrive and achieve great things.

The kind of stress that you're talking about would fall firmly into the camp of too much / bad stress.

When stress levels are high, your mood is down and dark, you don't sleep, don't have a drive to eat properly or look after yourself.

Different people have different coping strategies for times like these, some find comfort in destroying themselves in the gym, pushing themselves to the point of collapse, throwing heavy weights on the bar and squatting until the only thought going through their head is one of surviving the next rep. I've seen people turn to training as the one things that they can control when everything else seems to be falling apart, and make great progress because of it.

I'm not saying it's the healthiest option, replacing emotional stress with physical, but it is an option, and can have a kind of purify-by-fire approach.

The way I've always handled stressful times in my life is with a calmer approach.

Back when I used to climb regularly, I'd find that traversing (moving sideways along a climbing wall, instead of up) in a slow and controlled manner a great way to calm me down and help me gain focus and insight into whatever was causing the stress. I've previously heard about this type of thing referred to as mindful movement.

The idea is that you lose yourself so completely in what you're doing, by focusing on the movement, that you kind of lose focus on the cause of the stress and enter a flow state.

Traversing, climbing, certain types of Yoga, Tai-chi, Turkish get-ups, basically anything that forces you to focus on something causing a flow state, can be massively beneficial when dealing with stress.

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