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Reducing Stress Over The Holidays

Combat Holiday Stress with Exercise

When a demanding holiday season leaves you twisted in knots from the stresses of commitments, crowds, shopping and entertaining, mounds of research point to a simple solution to such anxiety: sweat away that stress by making exercise a part of your holiday routine.

Besides the obvious benefits of improving your physical condition and fighting disease, the Anxiety and Depression Association of American (ADAA) points out that exercise also does wonders for the mind.

“Exercise is also considered vital for maintaining mental fitness, and it can reduce stress,” states the ADAA in the article “Exercise for Stress & Anxiety” on its website. “Studies show that it is very effective at reducing fatigue, improving alertness and concentration, and at enhancing overall cognitive function.”

Exercise also does wonders for improved self-confidence, post-exercise fatigue helps you relax during the day, and those who exercise regularly tend to sleep better. Nearly any form of exercise: walking, running, lifting weights or taking yoga classes, can serve as stress relievers, especially during particularly difficult times of the year like the holiday season.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that each week, adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity (brisk walking or swimming) or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise (e.g., running), plus some strength training on two or more days.

If you currently don’t abide by an exercise routine, the Mayo Clinic and the ADAA offer the following recommendations to get you started: 

  • Consult your physician
  • Start small
  • Have fun
  • Use the buddy system
  • Mix it up

In addition, certified movement experts like physical therapists can help you establish a workout routine that’s more in-tune with your body’s strengths and limitations as well as your personal fitness goals. Contact your physical therapist to learn how.

To access the full article on relieving stress over the holidays, click here.

In partnership with the YMCA, Hally Health focuses on a variety of topics aimed at people of any age or fitness level who want to stay healthy and active. Try this HIIT workout that’s sure to get your heart pumping. To view all our YMCA partnership fitness videos throughout the month, please visit or

Useful links:

  1. Working Out to Relieve Stress | American Heart Association
  2. 5 Self-Soothing Techniques To Help Relieve Holiday Stress & Anxiety! (