The Best 7 Relaxing Sports That Reduce Stress

Playing sports comes with some of the most apparent benefits; maintaining a healthy weight, having fun, improving sleep habits, and many more. 

However, many people have taken up sports as a way to relax their minds and distance themselves from the anxiety they face daily. These sports are not only for the physical but also the mental part of your body too. 

Here are the top 7 relaxing sports you can do that give you a workout and relieve stress. 

1. Golf

Golf is known to reduce stress levels and is a very popular sport to play among many. 

Enjoying nature and the company of like-minded people while your brain works to develop strategies for this competitive sport has proven to lower stress levels. 

While some sports require a lot of moving and running and thus can contribute to more stress, golf is the complete opposite. A nice change of pace from your daily routines will encourage your brain and body to take things slower and reduce your stress and anxiety. 

2. Archery

The most important benefit of archery in promoting relaxation is how it teaches you to focus on a single target and slow your breathing. 

When you contribute all your mental power to one single thing at a time, you pull yourself away from the daily struggles of life. 

Another great benefit of archery is that you can practice it both alone for mindfulness and peace and with other people who enjoy the sport. 

You can learn more about archery from instructors or online resources. 

3. Hiking

Nothing beats a relaxed hike in nature. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just getting into the sport, the benefits of hiking are endless. 

Hiking clears your mind and increases endorphin levels, which is why medical professionals worldwide always encourage hiking to reduce stress and anxiety.

Being nature will boost your overall mood and improve your sensory perception.

You can always take family and friends on a hike with you too, and great company is always appreciated. 

However, It’s important always to be prepared when you go for a hike, whether alone or with someone. 

Make sure that you always carry:

  • A charged phone 
  • A first aid kit
  • Water
  • Proper hiking gear and shoes

Make sure you tell a friend or a family member about the location of the trail you’re taking, so instead of being worried that you might be lost with no connection, you can enjoy the scenery and take in nature and all its experiences fully.

4. Taichi

Taichi first started as a Chinese tradition and is based on martial arts, combining physical exercises, breathing, and meditation. 

Today, many practice taichi for its incredible benefits in decreasing stress and anxiety, helping with mood regulations. 

Slow breathing and pacing of tai chi help the mind calm down, to the point where according to one study, many researchers have said that tai chi could be superior to other forms of exercise for reducing stress and anxiety. 

Another positive point in tai chi is that since the sport doesn’t require excessive moving and pressure on the limbs, people from any age group can participate.

5. Cycling 

Cycling is among one of the most popular cardiovascular sports that promote relaxation and low stress. 

Getting natural light while your heart pumps and your limbs move has proven to reduce anxiety, releasing mood-regulating hormones. Your vitamin D intake also increases as you bike in natural daylight. 

6. Swimming 

If you think about a sport that truly feels like the embodiment of the word relaxation, swimming comes to mind. 

There’s a certain feeling when you’re in the water, and you can feel all the worries of the day just fade away. 

If done with the right technique, swimming also involves rhythmic breathing that can trigger the part of the nervous system responsible for rest and relaxation. 

7. Dancing 

It’s not a shocker to know that when the body feels good, the mind too. So dancing as a means to de-stress your mind is an excellent example of this. 

When your body engages in the type of activity that dancing requires, endorphins get released and alleviate stress, just like any other form of physical activity. 

For many, dancing is also a creative outlet that allows people from any age to participate and feel the sparks through moving and expressing their true selves without being judged. 

Bottom Line

It’s always a great idea to engage in different types of activities and give other kinds of sports a chance. No matter how stressed or stuck you feel today, there’s a simple solution that can take you away from that mindset tomorrow. 

Written by Sami Jarjour

The Co-Founder of Sports ON Tap & Host of "Stuff That Matters w/ Sami Jarjour" Podcast & Co-Host of "Pod That: Two Brothers Talkin' Sports"

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