Stressed? Don’t work out longer; just shake things up

Tanja Djelevic by Tanja Djelevic | December 1st, 2008 | 3 Comments
topic: Fitness, Health & Wellness

Many people think that tons of rigorous workouts help relieve stress. But research shows that it can actually have the opposite effect. Changing up your routine can ease stress more effectively than doing MORE of the same.

You can change your workout routine in many ways including …

  • When doing fat-burning workouts, change the settings, machine or environment. Instead of a run, crank up the incline or do an uphill hike outdoors. Instead of a stationary bike, go outside and ride a bike. Whatever is a “shocker” for your body is good for new progress and creates better results.
  • When strength training you can change the number of sets, fewer or added repetitions, more or less weight, speed with which you lift … basically anything you DON’T usually do or haven’t done in a while.
  • If you exercise constantly and have a tendency to over-exercise, a break of several days may be the change that’s most needed and effective.

When you feel your body again has to work harder to keep up, you know you’re doing the right thing! Bu make changes one at a time, not all at once. I’ve seen clients who want to be in shape the moment the idea comes into their head. Usually that leads to poor progress; the body suddenly has too many things to do that it’s unprepared for, commonly leading to injury and overexertion. Also, it’s easy to hit a wall of mental exhaustion when implementing rigorous training, diet and other social changes to keep up with the new program.

Ironically, the key with changing up your workout routine is consistency: Follow a routine until your body adapts to it — then change so the body can feel a challenge again. When you slowly embark on that journey, you will find that your metamorphosis is joyous rather than filled with pressure and anxiety.




  1. Yeah I was wondering why I was so stressed out while exercising considering I had heard exercising was a stress reliever. I think I need to switch up the conditions under which I’m exercising.

    Melissa | December 2nd, 2008 | Comment Permalink
  2. Crosstraining is really good to mix things up. Sometimes a mellow workout or walk is just what the body and mind needs to recover and restore energy.

    Marcos | December 3rd, 2008 | Comment Permalink
  3. I really jive with this. I think one of the biggest ways to destress is to really get outside of your own head and it is so much easier to do this when you are incorporating novel exercises into your routine instead of the same old same old. I think it also helps to widen your experience, which also acts to lighten the laod.


    jh | December 3rd, 2008 | Comment Permalink

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