Zen Exercise: Four Fun Ways to Relieve Stress & Work Out

If you’re looking for some of the best ways to relieve stress and have fun then look no further! Scottsdale and Phoenix areas offer a wide variety of different Zen exercise programs to keep you focused and stress-free.


Hatha or Anusara – Focuses on breathing & the mind-body spirit:

With its gentle practice and slow pace, it is excellent for beginners, as well as the most widely practiced type of yoga practiced in the U.S.  Classes typically promote emotionally inspirational themes such as empowerment, increasing one’s confidence & grounding your mind. The movements typically focus on classic poses such as upward or downward facing dog and  warrior pose.

Bikram- Focuses on Cardio & With an Emphasis on Sweating:

Heat promotes sweating and warms up the body, making your muscles more flexible so they can stretch and minimize your risk of injury. Bikram is set up like a typical fitness class, with a warm-up phase, 20 minutes of cardio inspired poses ( moving through a quick series or poses), followed by a cool-down. Sweating is great for the body, but if you suffer from hiperhidrosis then it may not be so fun when your not working out, luckily there is a brand new for those who suffer from hiperhidrosis.

Restorative- Focuses on Stress Relief:

Incorporates, blocks, blankets or padding to support your body so you can establish a deep release.  These yoga poses are often held for 10-15 minutes at a time.

Vinyasa Flow – Focuses on Burning Calories & Toning :

Focuses on consistency, with constant smooth movements that force you to continually engage your muscles.

Power Yoga- Focuses on Improving Posture & Form:

Showcases toning and muscle building movements for your core, legs, and gluts.


Hiking is an excellent way to lose excess pounds, lower your blood pressure, and improve one’s health. It can help to decrease “bad cholesterol” levels, a common cause of heart disease, by increasing your “good cholesterol” levels. Aside from the great cardiovascular workout it’s a great way to get some fresh air outside!

Arizona Hiking Hot Spots:

Squaqpeak (Piestewa Peak)

Distance: 2.4 miles to the summit and back

Duration: ~ 1.5 hours with a 15 minute break.

Time of year: All year (hike early in the day during the summer)

Camelback Mountain

Distance: 2.3 miles round trip. (The ‘Cholla Trail’ is 3.5 miles round trip)

Duration: ~ 2 hours with a 30 minute break.

Time of year: all year (hike early in the summer months)


Pilates has recently emerged as one of the most popular forms of exercise for women across the country.  Inspired by certain yoga poses, pilates focuses on  conditioning the entire body,  developing increased core strength and elongating the spine. Aside from increasing total body strength, it aims to augment awareness for proper posture.

Benefit # 1: A Stronger Core

A stronger core means healthier back and body flexibility, stability & balance.

Benefit # 2: Body Awareness

It teaches you how to train your mind and build symmetry and coordination in the body.

Benefit #3: Body Control & Focus

With both increased body awareness and core strength also comes higher levels of body control and focus as seen in gymnastics!

Rock Climbing

Rock Climbing is a good mix of core and body strength, muscle conditioning, focus, balance  and agility.  It is a dynamic muscle exercise, meaning your muscles are engaged for extended periods of time. Due to its physical nature, climbing movements require increased blood flow when compared to simply lifting weights. The increased intensity and duration of such muscle contractions and movement  causes your heart to work harder in order to increase blood flow. Aside from the physicality, climbing forces you to focus on proper breathing techniques that increases oxygen levels in your blood.

About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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