Stress Relief: 7 Calming Workouts That Aren't Meditation

05/21/2012 08:34 am ET | Updated Aug 21, 2012

By Jessica Smith for Shape.com

While following a regular exercise program is a great way to relieve stress, some workouts can actually cause a stress response in your body. Some research has linked exercise (endurance workouts in particular) with increased production of stress hormones and inflammation in the body.

We're not suggesting you skip your workout -- just make sure it's balanced and responsive to your body's needs. For example, if you find yourself under a lot of stress, you may want to restore your energy level with a flowing, gentle sweat session instead of that killer spin class. And while meditation is a proven stress reducer, it isn't for everyone. If you prefer to stay in motion, we recommend trying any or all of these relaxing (but dynamic) mind/body workouts.

The Best Workouts For Stress Relief

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