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Easing stress can bring big rewards for our health and wellbeing… including lowering our risk of heart disease and stroke, improving our mental health and helping us stick to our healthy eating plans.

Becoming more active is one of the best ways to alleviate stress – in fact, regular exercise has been shown to help:

  • ease anxiety and lift mood
  • lower the risk of depression
  • reduce feelings of stress
  • give a greater sense of calm and help us think more clearly
  • increase self-esteem

If you’d love to give some stress-busting activity a go, our Body Magic programme will help you to get fitter at your own pace. We’ll also dispel any misconceptions or concerns you have about exercise and take the fear out of change, so that you experience the full feel-good factor of moving more!

Click here to discover two great ways to lose weight

5 ways activity can help you relieve stress

1. It releases happy hormones

Any activity that increases your heart rate and speeds up your breathing releases endorphins, hormones which can reduce stress, ease physical tension and encourage a more optimistic mindset. 

Dancing is just one way to up your endorphin levels, and Slimming World members get access to a wide variety of dance-based activity videos that are suitable for all fitness levels, including some seated ones. 

More on the blog: Learn more about our member-exclusive activity videos 

2. It can provide a support network

As well as being great for your all-round health and fitness, walking is a brilliant mood-booster – and those benefits are multiplied when you do it with a Body Magic buddy. Walking together gives a sense of belonging and provides the friendship and support that’s so important for our emotional wellbeing.

Sara Nye walking with a friend

Slimming World Consultant Sara goes for a long walk with her pals whenever she needs a de-stress sesh.

More on the blog: 4 easy ways to move more this month 

3. It boosts self-esteem

Learning new skills increases our confidence and sense of purpose. Kickboxing, for example, can improve your co-ordination and stamina – plus all that kicking and moving can provide a wonderful emotional release.

Lisa Sudlow kickboxing

Slimming World member Lisa, who’s lost 5st 7lbs, has recently bagged her fourth kickboxing belt and says it has helped with her mental health.

MORE FOR MEMBERS: Our knockout guide to boxing will leave you feeling unstoppable, in body and mind!

4. A natural remedy

Paying more attention to our thoughts and feelings, to our body and to the world around us can help to cultivate calmness. If you’re exercising outdoors, focus on the sights, smells and sounds surrounding you. By taking your mind off your worries and refocusing on the present moment, you’ll arrive home feeling more relaxed.

Slimming World member Ann Marie cycling

Heading out for a bike ride always gives Slimming World Consultant Ann an instant mood boost!

More on the blog: How cycling helped Lois Aleema support her son through his cancer treatment 

5. It eases tension

Activities that combine breathing exercises with balance-building moves, like yoga or Pilates, can give you the mental space to put your worries into perspective. And by purposefully moving through a yoga routine, you’ll regain the much-needed sense of control that often disappears when we feel stressed out. Stretching will help to ease any tension and tightness in the body, too. 

MORE FOR MEMBERS: Say yes to yoga with our activity guide 

Get fitter at your pace with Slimming World

When you join Slimming World, you’ll unlock our full get-fit tool kit, which includes: 

  • more than 90 on-demand activity videos, with workouts for every ability   
  • easy-to-follow exercise guides and activity ideas   
  • an online activity tracker, so you can chart your progress towards the next Body Magic award   
  • the FIT log tool, to help you identify any barriers and put strategies in place    
  • exclusive walking podcasts and fitness-themed podcast episodes   

Find out more about our unique physical activity programme 

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