When did people start exercising to reduce stress? The answer may surprise you.
Exercising for Stress Relief
Structured exercise has been around for a long time, with the 1700's a particularly important time in history when scientific discoveries were made regarding the merits of strength training and beneficial exercise. Women were also encouraged to exercise around this time, which was contrary to what was practiced before this time period.
It was around this time that people began utilizing group fitness clubs and were exercising to promote better health. You may wonder, however, when did people start exercising to reduce stress? The truth is that people have been exercising to reduce stress for as long as mankind has been in existence, although it was probably not done intentionally. Constant movement and strenuous activity helped to reduce stress levels in people regardless of whether they understood the correlation or not. The real question is when people started exercising with the explicit intent to reduce stress as a result of the exercising.
Ancient Stress Relief
One of the most popular forms of exercise still used in present day to relieve stress and promote a sense of well being is yoga. This strengthening exercise regiment is also viewed as a calming practice that helps relieve stress and promote inner peace. Although yoga was once isolated to one region of the world, it is now commonly practiced around the globe and enjoys huge popularity among a wide variety of cultures.
You may already know that yoga is quite an old form of exercise, but you may be surprised to find out exactly how old yoga really is. While proof exists that yoga was practiced as far back as 3000 B.C., there are many experts and historians who believe that the practice of yoga has been in existence far longer than that.
Yoga can be a spiritual experience as well as a strenuous workout, but calmness and serenity are both common themes within many forms of yoga. For this reason, many people throughout history have turned to yoga in an attempt to reduce stress. This means that the practice of exercising to reduce stress is indeed an ancient practice.
In ancient Greece, people were encouraged to pursue high levels of fitness because the accepted belief was that a person's mind could not perform at its best if the body was not physically fit. In this particular culture, it was accepted that the tediousness of daily life could be dealt with through physical exercise.
Throughout the Renaissance, the belief that exercise was beneficial to mental health was prevalent. While many people did not understand that exercise can specifically reduce stress, it was widely accepted that the mind benefited from an active lifestyle.
When Did People Start Exercising to Reduce Stress in Modern Day
More than one of the historical figures within the United States were quoted as encouraging exercise with the explicit intent both physical and mental fitness. In the modern era, it was the 1970's and 1980's that witnessed the beginnings of fitness centers that were designed for routine and group exercise. These gyms promoted physical fitness and began to market the idea of regular exercise to the general public as a means to reduce stress.
It was also in the 1980's that many large corporations started offering on-site gyms to employees since exercise was deemed beneficial for physical and mental well-being.
Reduce Your Stress
You do not have to exercise strenuously to enjoy the stress-reducing benefits of exercise. Take a walk, go for a swim, or try some stretching exercises to help calm your mind and reduce your stress levels.