Work-related stress is universal, and it can affect your life both inside and outside of the office. Sitting at a desk can also contribute to a sense of lethargy and make it harder to stay on-task when necessary. A useful strategy for coping with stress, whether it be from work or another outlet, is lacing up your sneakers and pounding the pavement.
Tips and Tricks for a Stress-Relieving Run
- Find a time that works for you — The morning is an ideal time for some runners, as it helps to wake the body up and get prepared for whatever is in store. Others may find after work is preferable, helping to clear the mind following a long day.
- Select a playlist for your BPM — The BPM, or beats per minute, of a song can coincide with your own BPM while you’re running. This can make it easier to keep a set pace and makes your run more fun while trying to match the beat! Spotify has genre-specific playlists that you can stream to match up with your selected pace.
- Pick a new spot to explore — One of the perks of running is that it gets you outside. Pick a wooded trail or a scenic lake for your next jog and relax while you take in the scenery around you.
- Start Slowly — This tip is two-fold. You always want to make sure you warm up before a run, as starting off with cold muscles can lead to injury. Start with a brisk walk and some dynamic stretching to get your body ready for the road ahead. For newer runners, you’ll want to remember that running, especially when you are looking to destress, is not about being the fastest or the first to the finish line. Pick a pace that feels comfortable for you and don’t worry about what the timer says.
- Try HIIT — HIIT, or High-Intensity Interval Training, is another useful method both for stress relief and fitness. To use this method when running, pick up a faster pace for one interval, then bring your heart rate down by slowing to a jog or a walk. You may opt to run for 4 minutes, walk for 1; run for 3, walk for 2; or any other interval that works for you. Keep repeating until you reach 30 minutes or your desired workout timeframe!
Just Keep Going
Whether you’re a novice or an expert, running can be an unbeatable form of stress relief. Many people believe that they are naturally “not a runner,” and some insist they “only run unless when being chased.” However, selecting a playlist or podcast that pumps you up can get you excited to run, leaving your worries behind in your tracks.
If you find that jogging doesn’t elicit that runner’s high you’ve heard so much about, exercise, in general, can help you wind down or gear up for a workday. You can workout at home via free workouts on YouTube or call up a friend and venture to your local gym. Either way, breaking a sweat is a surefire way to keep your stress levels under control, increase productivity, and establish a positive work-life balance.