So I’m going against all recent studies now, and I’m going to tell you that a quick high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout can help reduce your stress levels.
Here’s the scoop… a short fire, high intensity workout is said to increase cortisol levels, so if you’re already in a heightened state of stress it could just worsen the situation.
But here’s another thing… sometimes stress is caused from pent up frustration. And a really great way to vent that frustration, along with the endorphins and energy made readily available from a stress response, is to work out! And I mean a tough, gruesome, down and dirty workout where you get to throw, punch, kick and slam things! Your body makes energy available, so you may as well put it to good use and burn some calories just as your body is expecting.
Bring on an equipment based circuit! My ultimate favourite at the minute is to use my battle ropes in an interval set up… 45 seconds of rope work, 15 seconds rest, then a different resistance exercise for 45 seconds. Repeat. The whole workout doesn’t need to last more than 30 minutes, and you will leave feeling exhilarated, satisfied and sweaty. The perfect combination to take your mind off the stress of work/school/daily life!
If you don’t have a Battle Rope, then try this:
45 seconds Squat jumps, 15 seconds rest, 45 seconds Press Ups, 15 seconds rest
45/15 Squat jumps, 45/15 high step up
45/15 Squat Jumps, 45/15 sit ups
45/15 Squat Jumps, 45/15 walking lunges
Repeat this 3 times, and you’ve done a great 24 minute HIIT workout!
If this sounds right up your street, then book in for a workout with me, and let me know you need to vent some frustration! Having done boxing whilst I was on an operational tour of Afghanistan, I’m always happy to get the gloves and pads out too… just remember to take it easy on me ; )
If you want an example of a great circuit workout, take a look at my Military Inspired Circuit here.