De-stressing out of the office
After a bad day it’s easy to turn to a glass of wine for comfort. Although that’ll give you a temporary fix, come the morning a fuzzy head makes everything seem ten times worse. That’s why more and more working women are putting their foot down and hitting the treadmill to kiss that stressful day goodbye. Yet when you’ve spent all day cooped up at your desk, a breath of fresh air can be just what the doctor ordered. So dodge the gym price tag, put on some walking clothes and choose to enjoy the benefits of de-stressing in the beautiful outdoors instead.
Exercise has long been acknowledged for its many perks. Beyond the obvious calorie burning pros, gentle exercise is renowned for reducing the risk of diabetes, breast cancer and dementia. But what really seals the deal is the boost in mood and the energy we can gain. Light to moderate exercise produces the right chemicals in your brain to release endorphins and let out some steam after a long day, leaving you feeling de-stressed and more confident. What’s more, a short burst of outdoor exercise can easily be incorporated into your evening or weekend schedule. So there’s no excuse! Here’s a few ideas to get you started.
It’s scientifically proven that as little as 30 minutes exercise can kick start the positive benefits, reducing mental and physical stress. This can be anything from a leisurely walk home to an afternoon hike and there are plenty of options available for all abilities right on your doorstep. Tough day? Skip off the subway or bus a few stops early and walk the rest of the journey home. This allows you to get some fresh air and clear your head, meaning you won’t bring the stress of the day into your home. Alternatively, if that’s not an option then use your lunch break wisely. Studies show that we’re more efficient when we take breaks so step away from your computer and take a walk around the block during lunch. Incorporating leisurely walks into your lifestyle is a great way to help you relax without taking up too much of your time. Once the weekend is in sight, use your free time wisely and get to grips with nature.
Instead of spending your weekend sprawled out on the couch, check out what’s on offer outdoors. With minimal equipment required, invest in some supportive boots and weather resistant clothing and you’re good to go. Fly solo or double up with your partner or friends and spend the afternoon hiking. If you’re unsure of routes there are plenty of online resources to inspire you such as TrailLink’s app which lets you search for route maps by city or ZIP code. Go one step further and join a local walking or hiking club to get those endorphins and meet new people.
Striking a good work-life balance doesn’t require a drastic overhaul or nights spent pounding the treadmill. Adapting your routine to make way for 30 minutes exercise isn’t a tall order and is a great way to relax leaving you energised for everyday challenges. From a short walk on your lunch break to delving into the woods at the weekend, there’s an option for all abilities to catch some Vitamin D and unwind.
Images by Martin Fisch and Jenny Downing, used under the Creative Commons license.