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Two adults smiling while in a water fitness class in the pool.

You hear it time and again: Exercise is good for your health, especially as you age. And while the physical benefits of exercise are often the focus, the effect it has on your mental health is just as important — including how it influences your stress levels.

Exercise can help relieve stress in several ways:

  • Endorphin release: Exercise and movement can bump up the production of feel-good chemicals in your brain and improve your mood.
  • Imitating stress: Physical activity can sometimes imitate the effects of stress on your body, which helps its systems practice working through those emotions.
  • In-motion meditation: After doing a fast-paced workout or concentrating on your breath in a yoga class, you may often find that the day’s worries are no longer on your mind.

To help you enjoy more of the stress-relieving benefits of exercise, we matched some common stress-relief styles with ARORA classes.

Why ARORA Classes?

ARORA is a community within Life Time that features a collection of physical, social, and educational activities for adults who want to stay healthy, active, and fit. (You can learn more here: “Discover ARORA.”) This includes ARORA exercise classes that are specifically designed for people aged 55 and older.

I like to feel strong and accomplished.

Classes to try: ARORA Total Body and ARORA Strength

For some, the feeling of lifting weights and training with resistance nurtures feelings of accomplishment and confidence.

“After you complete an ARORA Total Body class, you can relax knowing you did it all,” says Rob Glick, senior director of group fitness programming and innovation for Life Time. “This class features strength, cardio, core, and balance exercises with time for relaxation and stretching at the end.

“ARORA Strength focuses on helping you master the basics of strength training using dumbbells, barbells, and resistance bands,” Glick adds. “After this class, you may even feel strong enough to take on the world!”

I like to tune into my body and mind.

Classes to try: ARORA Gentle Yoga and ARORA Chair Yoga

While there are many benefits to yoga, studies show that it can target stress and lift your mood by increasing mindfulness and self-compassion.

“ARORA Gentle Yoga is a fully guided class focusing on basic yoga moves, stretching, and simple movement patterns,” says Glick. “Destress by stretching, connecting to your breath, and taking time for deep relaxation.

ARORA Chair Yoga offers similar benefits, but with the added support of a chair,” he explains. “You’ll relieve stress by releasing muscular tension and enjoying a few moments of meditation.”

I like to let my stressors float away.

Class to try: ARORA Aqua

Dipping into a pool can result in seemingly instantaneous relaxation as you let the water wash away any worries you may be feeling. Being around water can also provide calm and “rest” for the brain.

“Workouts in the pool produce less strain on your joints than those on land,” says Glick. “ARORA Aqua is a great way to lose your worries in the joy of movement and celebration of the community of those in class with you.”

I like to bring on the endorphins.

Class to try: ARORA Cycle

While any type of physical activity can help release endorphins, a cycle class that combines cardio with upbeat music and rhythm may be just what you need to release some tension.

ARORA Cycle is a great way to do your cardio training in a safe and fun environment,” Glick advises. “It’s good for your joints, heart, and your mind.”

I like to dance out my worries.

Class to try: ARORA Dance

Dancing can transport you into a state of flow that allows you to be deeper in touch with your body, feelings, and emotions.

“If music and dancing bring you joy, you’ll surely relieve stress in ARORA Dance,” says Glick. “It’s a fun-filled experience with simple moves — and no dance experience is required.”

Note: Class offerings may vary by location. Check your club page for class schedules.

Emily Ewen

Emily Ewen is a senior writer and content editor at Life Time.

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ARORA is a collection of fitness, social and educational programs designed for people who want to stay active, healthy, social — and have fun all the days of their lives.

Learn More About ARORA for Members


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