Using Exercise to Let Off Steam


Even the most positive people can go through stages of feeling frustrated, annoyed, stressed, angry or low. Dwelling on these feelings and keeping them bottled off can often lead to a state of lethargy and can run the risk of damaging your health and affecting your personal relationships. When our brains aren’t happy, this will often reflect in our body, leading the weight loss or gain, aches and pains and decreased energy.

Your body reacts to anger in the same way it reacts to stress. Your blood pressure rises, your breathing accelerates, your muscles tense and your body releases adrenaline into your bloodstream. An effective way to to displace any feelings of stress and frustration is through exercise.

Working out often helps take your mind off the issues that have unsettled you and gives you a chance to calm down and clear your mind. Exercise may also have preventative properties to help in keeping you calmer and less stressed.

A study published in the January 2000 issue of the journal “Preventive Medicine” found that people who exercised at least two to three times a week experienced less depression, anger, distrust and stress than those exercising less frequently or not at all.

Here is a three step plan on how to let off steam and prevent negative feelings using exercise:

Step 1


Get on a treadmill or elliptical machine and try some light cardio. This helps focus the brain on your body movements (rather than any negativity) and increases your blood flow and begins to release endorphins. Focusing on reaching time, speed or calorie targets will also help focus your mind on the task at hand.

Step 2


Set your physical focus on a punching bag and release all of the tension the body. Avoid ruminating on the cause of your anger, and instead see the punching workout as a step to increasing your health and fitness. It’s believed that hitting a punching bag while thinking about becoming healthier will help decrease feelings of anger.

Step 3


Do some weightlifting and burn some calories. Weight training results in a noticeable decrease in muscular tension and is a beneficial way to release feelings of anger and frustration in a healthy and acceptable manner. Weightlifting and strength training is a great way for both men and women to challenge themselves and build both physical and inner strength.

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