13 Exercises to Avoid Getting Sick (stress relievers)

Alpha Daily
7 Min Read

In today’s fast-paced world, stress has become a constant companion for many of us. Its impact on our overall health is profound, particularly on our immune system. High stress levels can weaken our immune defenses, making us more susceptible to infections and illnesses. But there’s a silver lining – the power of exercise in managing stress and bolstering our immune system. This guide delves into 13 exercises specifically chosen for their stress-relieving properties, providing a pathway to a healthier, more resilient you.

Understanding the connection between stress and illness is key. When we’re stressed, our body releases cortisol, a hormone that, in prolonged periods, can suppress immune function. By engaging in exercises that mitigate stress, we reduce cortisol levels, thereby giving our immune system the support it needs to protect us. This is more than just a theory; it’s a well-documented fact supported by numerous studies linking regular exercise to improved immune response.

These 13 exercises are not just randomly chosen activities; they are practices that combine physical movement with mental focus, creating a holistic approach to stress relief and immune health. From the calming flows of yoga to the energizing rhythms of dancing, each exercise offers a unique way to combat stress and boost health. Let’s explore these activities in detail, understanding why each works and how to incorporate them into your daily routine.

1. Yoga

  • Why It Works: Yoga combines physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation to reduce stress and promote relaxation.
  • How to Do It: Begin with simple poses like the Child’s Pose, Downward Dog, or Warrior sequences. Focus on your breathing and maintain each posture for several breaths.

2. Tai Chi

  • Why It Works: This martial art promotes balance and calm through slow, deliberate movements and deep breathing.
  • How to Do It: Tai Chi is best learned from a qualified instructor to ensure proper technique. Start with basic movements like the wave hands or cloud hands.

3. Pilates

  • Why It Works: Pilates improves core strength and flexibility while promoting mental concentration and relaxation.
  • How to Do It: Try the Pilates Hundred, Plank, or the Mermaid movement, focusing on controlled, fluid motions and breathing.

4. Moderate Aerobic Exercise

  • Why It Works: Activities like brisk walking, jogging, or cycling reduce stress hormones and trigger the release of endorphins, creating a sense of well-being.
  • How to Do It: Aim for 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity most days of the week. Choose an activity you enjoy for sustainability.

5. Strength Training

  • Why It Works: Lifting weights or bodyweight exercises can relieve stress by boosting mood and improving sleep.
  • How to Do It: Incorporate exercises like squats, lunges, push-ups, and weight lifting twice a week.

6. Dancing

  • Why It Works: Dancing is not only a physical activity but also an emotional release, boosting mood and lowering stress.
  • How to Do It: Join a dance class or simply dance to your favorite music at home.

7. Swimming

  • Why It Works: Swimming is a low-impact exercise that relaxes and rejuvenates the mind and body.
  • How to Do It: Swim laps at a comfortable pace or join a water aerobics class.

8. Hiking

  • Why It Works: Being in nature and engaging in physical activity simultaneously reduces stress and enhances mood.
  • How to Do It: Find hiking trails in your area and plan regular hikes, considering your fitness level.

9. Boxing

  • Why It Works: Boxing is an excellent stress reliever as it involves physical exertion and the release of frustration.
  • How to Do It: Join a boxing gym or try shadow boxing at home with the proper gear.

10. Rowing

  • Why It Works: Rowing is a full-body workout that helps in reducing stress and improving cardiovascular health.
  • How to Do It: Use a rowing machine at the gym or try rowing outdoors if possible.

11. Gardening

  • Why It Works: Gardening is therapeutic; it combines physical activity with the calming effect of being outdoors.
  • How to Do It: Start with simple tasks like planting, weeding, or watering.

12. Rock Climbing

  • Why It Works: Rock climbing is both a physical and mental challenge, helping to focus the mind and relieve stress.
  • How to Do It: Start at an indoor climbing gym to learn the basics safely.

13. Qigong

  • Why It Works: Qigong is a traditional Chinese exercise involving controlled breathing and fluid movements to relax and strengthen the body.
  • How to Do It: Learn Qigong from a qualified instructor to understand the movements and breathing techniques.


Embarking on a journey to reduce stress through exercise is not just about avoiding illness; it’s about embracing a lifestyle that promotes overall well-being. The exercises outlined here offer diverse options to suit different preferences and lifestyles. Whether it’s the meditative practice of Tai Chi, the exhilarating punch of boxing, or the serene rhythms of gardening, each activity has the potential to transform your stress into a positive force for health.

Remember, consistency is the key. Integrating these exercises into your daily or weekly routine can create lasting changes in how your body and mind handle stress. This isn’t about short-term fixes; it’s about building a sustainable practice that supports your immune system, enhances your mood, and improves your overall quality of life.

Moreover, these exercises are more than just preventive measures; they are stepping stones to a more engaged and joyous life. As you embark on this path, you may find that the benefits extend far beyond physical health, enriching your life in unexpected and fulfilling ways. So, lace up those sneakers, unroll that yoga mat, or step into the garden, and take the first step towards a healthier, more resilient you.

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