If you’ve ever started a new workout or a hobby that was a little more physical than you thought it would be, like hiking or rollerblading, you probably know the feeling of being sore, tired, and worn down. Telling yourself “I thought this was how to de-stress! But I feel more stressed now!”
And if you’ve ever tried more extreme sports—like roller derby, surfing, or running the occasional 5k or adventure race—then you know how physically demanding even hobbies can be.
Combine that with lifting weights, high-intensity cardio, or long runs, and suddenly you find you don’t have enough time to recover, especially if the stress of everyday life is affecting your health.
It’s common knowledge that proper sleeping and eating habits (aka healing foods) are important, but most people still don’t have them. Make sure you eat a balanced diet and get seven to nine hours of sleep every night. These are by far the best two things you can do on how to de-stress your body and improve recovery.
After that, here are my top three methods on how to de-stress and help the body and the mind recover. After all, a healthy body and a healthy mind go hand in hand! Feel free to mix these up on different days or do all three every day. Experiment and see what works best for you!
Numerous studies have proven the benefits of yoga. It’s been shown to be equal to or superior in improving your health, better than any other exercise (walking/jogging/cycling/stretching/mobility drills) except those involving physical fitness.
The easiest yoga pose to start with is the Sun Salutation. You can usually do these in about ten minutes. Need help? Follow along with this great video!
Meditation goes hand in hand with yoga. Breathing techniques account for a lot of the benefits of yoga, so when you don’t have the time or space to practice yoga, you can at least practice meditation and start working on how to de-stress yourself.
Studies have proven that meditation can “improve your antibodies as well as change brain and immune function.” Amazingly, meditation has also been linked to reduced levels of pro-inflammatory genes, which in turn correlates with faster physical recovery from stress.
Like fitness and exercise, it depends on where you are and how often you meditate. If you’re a beginner, check out my favorite app, Calm. For brief exercises that fit your schedule, you can also look for guided meditations on YouTube, like this 10-minute exercise. They will both teach you how to de-stress and recover quickly!
I know yoga ranks higher on this list, but don’t dismiss walking from your “recovery arsenal”. We know many of the health benefits of walking, such as how it helps prevent cardiovascular disease and helps reduce anxiety and depression.
But other benefits may be more surprising. Stanford did a study on walking and found that “walking boosts creative ideation in real time.” That means you actually become more creative when you walk! (Maybe that’s why Steve Jobs always did it.)
Make walking a fun hobby! Go for a walk around the park or your neighborhood. Spend time outside with your family or your dog. You can even walk around the mall for ten minutes and do a little shopping while you cool down!
To reiterate, the two best how to de-stress and recover methods are sleeping well and eating a balanced diet. Start with those before moving on to the other three.
There are plenty of ways to mix these how to de-stress recovery methods into your routine. Meditate for ten minutes during your lunch break. Wake up a little early and start your day with ten minutes of Sun Salutations. Take a walk at the end of your workout, before or after your morning yoga routine, or in the evening with family.
I’d recommend starting with small time frames. Cycle through them to see which ones work best for you, then implement the ones you like most. All three have been highly beneficial to me and my students, so any combination should help teach you how to de-stress and improve your recovery!
Have you tried any of these how to de-stress recovery methods I talked about today? Which ones work best for you? Share your experience in the comments below, and be sure to share this article with your friends!
Jay Kali AKA, The Strength Architect is the founder of Kali Coaching. He holds certifications as a Specialist in Strength and Conditioning, Certified Fitness Trainer, Online Trainers Academy Graduate, Training For Warriors Level 2 Graduate and is a 300-Certified Yoga Teacher in Power Yoga. He is also an Amazon Bestselling Author in four different categories and has made it his mission to help women create long lasting, healthy lifestyles in just 8 weeks!