The 7 Best Workouts to Help With Common Health Complaints

The 7 Best Workouts to Help With Common Health Complaints

The exercise routines that will help you tackle common wellness challenges.

By: Maressa Brown

Finding time to exercise is certainly something all of us -- especially moms! -- grapple with on a regular basis. But trying to figure out what workout is best for your mood or whatever might be ailing you is a whole different challenge. We’ve all heard that exercise is medicine, after all, but which activity is the best cure for you? Here, seven common health concerns and the workouts that can help with each.

1. If you’re feeling anxious, try … yoga. Chronic or even in-the-moment anxiety can be addressed with yoga, or other meditative exercises that calm your nervous system. And research proves it: An analysis published in the journal Alternative Medicine Review stated that of 35 trials addressing the effects of yoga on anxiety and stress, 25 noted a significant decrease in symptoms when a yoga regimen was implemented.

2. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try … high-intensity workouts. All forms of exercise have been associated with a better night’s rest, but according to a poll from the National Sleep Foundation, vigorous exercisers reported the best sleep. If running isn’t your cup of tea, the NSF found that simply spending less time sitting was also linked to better ZZZs.

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3. If you’re feeling lethargic, try … low-impact aerobic exercise. If you’re tired, the last thing you may want to do is work out. But if you opt for low-impact, lower-intensity activity, you could come away feeling much more energized. In a study of sedentary adults, researchers at the University of Georgia found that those who biked for 20 minutes at an intensity level equivalent to a leisurely walk experienced a 65 percent drop in feelings of fatigue. Those who worked out harder only got a 49 percent drop.

4. If you’re feeling irritable, try … kickboxing. Not only has the American Council on Exercise (ACE) found that you can burn anywhere from 350-450 calories an hour kickboxing, but it is said to do wonders for quashing frustration and anger. Kickboxing moves also help enhance balance, flexibility, coordination, and endurance.

5. If you’re stressed out, try … tai chi. The ancient Chinese form of exercise involves a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner, accompanied by deep breathing. At Tufts Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine in Massachusetts, a team of researchers looked at the results of 40 studies, including 17 randomized controlled trials, that examined the mental health effects of tai chi, and found that it was associated with reduced stress, anxiety, depression and mood disturbance, and increased self-esteem.


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6. If you have lower back, hip, knee, or neck pain, try … strength training. Working to strengthen the muscles around the specific trouble zone can actually offer pain relief. That’s because more often than not, pain in these areas stems from weak muscles. For example, if your back is bothering you, doing planks or pushups will shore up your core to offer relief. But it is best to work with a professional, like a certified physical therapist, before attempting to diagnose and treat pain.

7. If you have a headache or migraine, try … hopping on the treadmill. A small study published in the journal Cephalalgia found that people who did treadmill workouts reported fewer and milder migraines. Researchers think this may have been due to the rise in endorphins the participants experienced as a result of their walks.

What workouts have helped you address specific health challenges?

Maressa Brown is a senior staff writer for The Stir. She loves writing about and reading up on health/fitness, relationships, and pop culture -- preferably on a beach somewhere.

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