Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"What exercises are best at helping stress reduction?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat exercises are best at helping stress reduction?


Should I try running? Swimming? I am a 24 year old law school student.


Stress is a common problem for active students in rigorous professional programs of study like law. Learning to develop effective ways to deal with the stress are helpful, as your life will likely continue to have times of significant stress as you move forward with your professional career. Managing stress requires a holistic approach, as the factors leading to the perception of stress are multiple. Exercise, of course is important, as it releases neurohormones that help your body to relax. The best forms of exercise are aerobic exercises. As long as it is aerobic, the type probably does not matter so much. For example running and swimming are likely equivalent. You should just pick something that you enjoy and that you can perform consistently on a daily or almost daily basis. Don't forget to pay attention to the other factors, however. For example, eating a healthy balanced diet will contribute to maintaining low stress levels. You should watch your caffeine and alcohol intake closely as well. Make sure to get plenty of sleep as well (and remember that both caffeine and alcohol can interfere with your sleep cycle). If you have further questions, don't hesitate to talk to your primary care doctor.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.