Stress relief activities and equipment
In our modern era, most people, if not all, feel very often stressed. It could be because of work or because of more personal-related reasons. In any case, it has been proven scientifically that exercise has beneficial effects, as it can reduce stress and minimize its effects on both body and mind. Boxing, yoga, and Pilates are three great ways to relieve your stress. Here are description guides of these 3 useful activities:
Boxing, and more generally boxing-type sports such as kick-boxing or mixed martial arts (a.k.a MMA) not only make for a great anger and stress-relief activity, but they are also great for your body and health.
- Boxing strengthens the back, arm, and leg muscles.
- It is an aerobic workout, which is great for the heart.
- Boxing helps develop self-defense skills and confidence, even if it is only by punching a bag.
- Sparring with a partner enhances your reflexes.
What you need:
- To protect your hands, boxing gloves and hand wraps are compulsory. There are different weights for the gloves, the heavier it is, the more protective the boxing gloves are:
- 10 ounce gloves are the one used in professional boxing matches
- 12 and 14 ounce gloves are perfect for beginners.
- 16 ounce gloves are used in the sparring sessions.
- 18 and 20 ounce gloves provide the best protection, but on the downside it may be uncomfortable to wear if you have small hands.
- A boxing bag is a good, rapid way to practice at home.
- Safety gear are also important when sparring. Such accessories include helmets, ankle wraps, shin guards, and belly guards.
Yoga is a spiritual activity that takes its roots from an ancient Eastern Indian tradition. It is in fact both a meditation and fitness activity that would help strengthen the harmony between body and mind.
- Yoga makes use of stretching which alleviates the strain put on the body by sitting at desks or with a bad posture. Some practitioners of yoga even say they feel taller because of the improved posture.
- Yoga makes the body stronger and more flexible, which prevents injuries.
- Yoga makes use of specific movements that help evacuate toxins from the muscles, thus improving your inner energy.
- The breathing and meditation activities clears your mind from mental stress.
What you need:
- A yoga DVD or yoga video are useful in order to learn the moves to practice at home
- A yoga mat provides more stability. The thin material it is made of should make the mat stick stable to the floor but not to your feet so as to move freely. Prefer a washable yoga mat so as to clean the sweat.
- A yoga ball can be used for some particular yoga poses.
- Beginners often use yoga blocks to help with the balance. The block, usually three or four inches thick, is used to replace reaching the floor with it instead.
Originally, Joseph Pilates created this fitness system for the rehabilitation of soldiers in the aftermath of WWI. Now it has become a popular exercise activity.
- Pilates strengthens the core muscles, which makes Pilates a complete core workout activity.
- The precision of the exercises makes you more physically disciplined.
- Like yoga, it improves the posture, which gives the impression of being taller.
- The stretching involved makes you more flexible.
- Pilates focuses on the abdominal muscles, which can flatten your stomach.
What you need:
- In order to use each move correctly and effectively, buying a Pilates DVD or video can help you learn how to perform them.
- A Pilates mat is very useful as the exercises are performed on the floor. Comparatively with a yoga mat, a Pilates mat is about the same size (approximatively 24 inches wide and 54 to 68 inches long) but it is usually more padded.
- A Pilates ball is often used. It is held during the exercises in the hands or between the knees. It can also be used to massage the muscles.
- If you find that you love doing Pilates at home, you may want to invest in a reformer. A Pilates reformer will cost anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, but it will help you perform the stretches the way that Joseph Pilates intended: smoothly and precisely.
- A Pilates reformer enhances the benefits of the activity. So if you happen to enjoy Pilates you might want to buy one, prices range from a hundred to a couple of thousands of dollars. A reformer would enable you perform more smoothly and precisely the exercises, as Joseph intended them initially.