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If you’re having a hard time at work, getting grief in your home life and just generally feeling stressed out and tired, while you may want to skip the gym, performing more cardio may actually be the best thing for you.

Let’s start at the bottom and work our way up, going with the simplest ways to bust little grievances, right up to the big, intense forms of cardio to get rid of the world’s worst forms of stress. 

Walking 

Yep, just a simple walk can do the trick. 

If you’re feeling slightly down and in need of a pick me up, just get walking.

Don’t jump on a treadmill at the gym though – head out to a local park, the beach or some woods and make the most of the natural scenery. You’d be amazed how relaxing and stimulating an hour or so of gentle walking can be. It may not make you the fittest guy or girl on the planet, but sometimes all you need is a little walking to de-stress.

Exercise Classes 

Spinning, Body pump, combat, circuits, legs bums and Tums, abs, boxercise – take your pick.

The huge bonus classes have over regular CV exercise is the interaction with other people. When you’re stressed and freaked out, you may want to just hide yourself away, but meeting with others gives you the opportunity to vent and forces you to get out of the dumps. 

A tight knit group along with a motivating instructor can also give you the inspiration and drive to push harder and make the most of your workout.

Running 

This was mentioned earlier in regards to the runner’s high, but there really is nothing like pounding the pavements for de-stressing. 

When running, you can let your mind wander. Hopefully it will wander to a better, stress-free place, but if it doesn't, grab your mp3 player, stick on a podcast, your favorite album or even some classical music and run until you can run no more.

Aggressive Cardio 

Let’s face it, when you’re stressed, sometimes all it needs to make you feel better is a good bit of aggression release. While you may not get this from a peaceful walk in the countryside or a plod along on the treadmill, some forms of aggressive cardio will give you a real buzz and help you workout out a few demons. 

We’re talking hill sprints, boxing, a body-weight circuit or even some kettlebell work, which combined cardio with lifting big heavy lumps of iron. If these high-intensity, aggressive activities don’t cure your stress, nothing will.

Tactics 

Beating stress with cardio is all about being motivated and proactive. This is much easier said than done, as it takes an iron will and some serious determination, but with the right mindset you can do it. 

Make a plan whenever stress strikes and try to act before you get overly stressed. Should you feel yourself start to get overwhelmed, or think that a stress storm is brewing, up your cardio sessions straight away. 

Plan your workouts in your diary and don’t let anything get in the way. Increasing your exercise really can decrease stress levels and stop anxiety from ruining your health. And what’s more important than staying healthy?

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