Author Topic: Outdoor Exercise and the Reduction of Stress  (Read 2530 times)

21runner

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Outdoor Exercise and the Reduction of Stress
« on: June 20, 2016, 11:09:24 AM »
There's nothing like getting home from being in the office all day and heading straight outside to exercise. For me, taking a long outdoor run after a day full of sitting at the desk seems to do so much when it comes to reducing stress from these working years that have to be endured while on the road to FI. Exercising (especially outdoors, as opposed to a gym) almost always eliminates whatever headaches I get from work. Does anyone else use exercise as not only a way to maintain health, but also to alleviate stress? What kind of outdoor exercises do you do? Walking, running, biking, etc.? I'd love to hear from you guys!

4alpacas

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Re: Outdoor Exercise and the Reduction of Stress
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2016, 11:20:25 AM »
I definitely use bursts of activity as a stress reduction technique (just finished reading "Calm Energy").  I use short bursts of activity (even a 10 minute walk can make me feel better) throughout the day.  I also try to squeeze in a short run at lunch (3 miles) to help break up the day. 

Other things that I use--breathing techniques (when I can't escape the office), Youtube yoga videos in my office (when it's too hot), and random weight-based exercises (sit-ups, push-ups, squats, etc).

Vanguards and Lentils

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Re: Outdoor Exercise and the Reduction of Stress
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2016, 12:03:28 PM »
This is a must for me, whether outdoors or indoor. I'm in my head all day while working, and getting 15 or 30 minutes of pure exertion - my mind completely blank while exerting myself - is a great remedy.

I've also done judo and lately jiu jitsu, and I enjoy it for a similar reason. Sparring, besides the physical exertion, gives me the feeling of fighting for my life. In my work or any other sphere of life, I never experience someone relentlessly trying to attack me. So perhaps it's the contrast with my safe, 21st century life that makes exercise so appealing.

retiringearly

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Re: Outdoor Exercise and the Reduction of Stress
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2016, 12:11:54 PM »
I try to average 30 minutes of walking at a quick pace per day.  I walk outside if weather permits.  Indoor on my treadmill when the weather is bad.

I do it more for stress release than anything else.  It is great for my mindset.

JoRocka

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Re: Outdoor Exercise and the Reduction of Stress
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2016, 12:25:51 PM »
I lift 3 times a week and I dance 10-15 hr- I do not consider it directly a stress release- I love lifting and dancing.

I do find myself dealing with anxiety and depression if I don't workout- it's an absolute MUST for me in my life. But I don't go there to work out anger or stress- it makes for crappy lifts- and I can't afford that.

21runner

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Re: Outdoor Exercise and the Reduction of Stress
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2016, 12:45:13 PM »
I also try to squeeze in a short run at lunch (3 miles) to help break up the day. 

I wish I had the time during lunch to do this, we only get 30 minutes for lunch break every day and there's no shower where I work. I can imagine it would greatly help with getting through the work day to be able to go on a 3 mile run during lunch!

21runner

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Re: Outdoor Exercise and the Reduction of Stress
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2016, 12:49:40 PM »
Here's another question. At what time of day does everyone prefer to get their exercise in? Does it make you feel better throughout the day to exercise first thing in the morning before work, or do you prefer to use it as a way to unwind after being at work all day? I go back and forth, sometimes in the morning and sometimes in the evening after work. I could see there being benefits in both situations. Which works best for you?

Warlord1986

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Re: Outdoor Exercise and the Reduction of Stress
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2016, 01:04:53 PM »
Sometimes I get up early and go for a short bike ride before heading into work. Usually during the day I take a stroll around my floor to keep myself from strangling anyone. Sometimes I go for a walk at lunch.

StarBright

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Re: Outdoor Exercise and the Reduction of Stress
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2016, 01:35:54 PM »
If I can manage to get up before my children I run to our apartment's gym and try to get in 15-20 on the stationary bike.

Since the weather has gotten warm I try to take another 10-15 minutes in the afternoon before I pick up the kids from daycare and just tread water in the pool.

The pool has been a great de-stressor at the end of the work day. I get a little less time with my kids, but I am in a much better place when I take an actual breather between work day and evening parenting.

Sailor Sam

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Re: Outdoor Exercise and the Reduction of Stress
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2016, 08:20:11 PM »
Here's another question. At what time of day does everyone prefer to get their exercise in? Does it make you feel better throughout the day to exercise first thing in the morning before work, or do you prefer to use it as a way to unwind after being at work all day? I go back and forth, sometimes in the morning and sometimes in the evening after work. I could see there being benefits in both situations. Which works best for you?

I like to exercise right before lunch. It breaks up the workday, and I enjoy the feeling of sitting down afterwards to feast.

I'm not much for the specifically outdoor exercises - jogging, biking, swimming. I really enjoy western style boxing, because of the intensity involved, and because I get to punch people in the face. Both are direct stress relievers for me.

retiringearly

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Re: Outdoor Exercise and the Reduction of Stress
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2016, 08:49:49 AM »
In the winter I tend to walk on my treadmill - I have a tv in front of it and can get lost in a documentary which makes it easy.  I have been walking outside since Spring but it was really hot the other day so I stay inside on the treadmill.  I forgot how much easy it is for me to walk longer when i am lost in a movie.  I streamed "The Big Short" on Amazon (I got it for free with credits from allowing Prime to ship items to me slowly).  I really forget that I am walking when I am engrossed in a good movie.

MsPeacock

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Re: Outdoor Exercise and the Reduction of Stress
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2016, 09:52:52 PM »
Exercise is my best medication! I went years with increasing joint pain and reduced activity until I got the right diagnosis  and medication for my joint pain. I had been really active until about 6 or 7 years ago but slowly got to the point that even walking around the block was painful. However, about two years ago found the right rheumatologist. About a year ago I started swimming because it was the least painful place to start in terms of joints.

My favorite outside activity is swimming and I can do it outside all year because the YMCA near my house has a heated outdoor pool. I love it. I prefer to go during the day when it is sunny (regardless of season) so I can soak up the sun. Recently I  started cycling and running too, and training for a triathalon. Indoor exercise, aside from yoga and "bouldering" generally doesn't cut it for me. Grinding away on an elliptical or treadmill inside pretty much embodies what I hate about exercise. I will swim no matter how cold it is. The pool is open if the temp Are above 32 and the deck isn't frozen. I even swam after our blizzard! I hike a couple miles in the woods with my dog every day too, in all weather except thunderstorms. I will run only in the morning, and other exercise is fine any time of day. I arranged my telework schedule so that two days per week I leave a couple hours for exercise mid day and one whole day off like today, for as much exercise as I feel up to.

Today I  ran 3 miles, swam 1.5 miles, biked 20 miles and feel like a BAMF!

21runner

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Re: Outdoor Exercise and the Reduction of Stress
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2016, 08:11:56 AM »
Today I  ran 3 miles, swam 1.5 miles, biked 20 miles and feel like a BAMF!

Wow, that's impressive! Congrats on working your way back to your current level!

Beardog

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Re: Outdoor Exercise and the Reduction of Stress
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2016, 03:37:16 PM »
There have been other posts about this, but a sit/stand desk can help relieve stress for those of us who work at a desk all day.  When you stand, you can take a few moments to stretch as you are working.  Also, if there are stairs to climb, avoid using elevators and always offer to be the one to who travels to someone else's office when you need to have a meeting.  It is an opportunity to move.

If you have an office with a door that closes or can find a place with some privacy, you can put down a yoga matt and stretch during your lunch break.

If you travel by public transportation to your job, you can get off before you arrive at your destination and walk the final half mile or mile or ...

I know the OP asked about outdoor exercise, but maybe these ideas might help.

mynewchoice

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Re: Outdoor Exercise and the Reduction of Stress
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2016, 11:54:02 PM »
Up until about a year ago, I was coming home from work and taking a walk (sometimes mixed with some jogging) pretty much every night.  I would walk anywhere from 3 miles to 5-6 miles, and that along with some smarter choices on my food intake was all I did to drop about 70 pounds.  Then, I took a new, higher position at work and unfortunately that brought me longer hours, more stress, and less of these healthy habits--and a lot of those pounds found their way back on.

Over Father's Day weekend, my wife and I along with our two teenage boys all picked up some new bikes and it has become a regular occurrence to go out on a ride together.  I have been making an effort to get out of work earlier again so I can get home and have dinner with the family, and then go on a bike ride after dinner.  It feels great to be back out and doing some exercise again, and both biking and walking have been great outlets to reduce that stress that bottles up throughout the work day and it is nice to unwind.