When I need to take a step back this is the first form of relaxing exercise that I go to. It’s free, you can do it pretty much anywhere (whether you be in the town or the city), and it’s easy to slot into your day. My walk to uni in the morning is an incredibly relaxing start, and it clears my head. If I have the choice I love either walking through parks, or leafy spaces, or anywhere with water I can sit down by- but I understand that this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. If the great outdoors aren’t your thing, then simply go and window shop (maybe leave the bank card at home though). If I have time in-between lectures when I’m in uni (I usually do), I’ll go for a quick walk to clear my head when I have lots of work (again, I usually do). If you live within walkable distance to your workplace, then try and walk there and back. It’s an easy way to incorporate exercise into your routine, and it both prepares you for the working day, but also separates the office from home more effectively than a car ride can (though, if it’s really raining maybe consider getting the bus occasionally).
This is a little bit harder to fit into my routine day-to-day, but I’ll sometimes opt out of the gym, and do yoga instead. The gym gets me hyped up as it were, but yoga allows me to unwind. Slow, controlled movements are good to focus your mind and draw it away from day-to-day worries. At the same time, yoga’s slow and controlled movements mean that your muscles do get a workout- it just feels a little gentler. If I feel I need to stretch then yoga is also the answer. There are a lot of different forms of yoga, so find the ones that work for you; most gyms teach yoga classes, but if you’re looking for an “at home” practice, then I highly recommend Yoga With Adrienne over on YouTube. I can rarely focus my attention long enough to complete an hour’s yoga, but Adrienne makes amazing 15 minutes and up videos, which is perfect.
This comes at the bottom of the list because it’s unfortunately the one I get to do the least (because it’s expensive), and which I tend to like to do in summer (when it isn’t too cold leaving the swimming baths with wet hair). As I mentioned in the “Walking” section, spaces of water are something I find incredibly relaxing, and so swimming fits into this. Although when there are children screaming on lilos it isn’t relaxing at all, so try to avoid family fun time. Again, I can never spend too long swimming as I become bored, but it is sometimes nice to float along in the water for half an hour or so.
So, there you have three of my favourite forms of relaxing exercise! Do you agree with my choices? Or do you have any other favourites? Let me know in the comments below…