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How to: Stress Relieving Exercises for All Ages

How to: Stress Relieving Exercises for All Ages


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Hong Kong people are among the five most stressed populations in the world, according to Cigna’s latest 360° Well-being Survey. The Survey unveils that nearly everyone is stressed in Hong Kong (92%). Although 75% of respondents think their stress level is manageable, 17% of respondents say they are not sure how to relieve stress; and Millennials (aged 18-34) report a higher level of unmanageable stress, at 26%.1


It is important to acknowledge that when our body experiences too much stress without time to restore, our health may suffer. Health conditions linked to stress include insomnia, digestive distress, depression, heart disease, and other conditions.2


It is paramount to recognize our personal signs of stress as early as possible and develop coping strategies for stress. Here’s a couple of stress relief activities for people of all ages that you can practice on a daily basis.


Tai Chi

Tai Chi is not only for the elderly. This Chinese martial art commonly referred to as “moving meditation” involves slow movements complemented with deep breathing. The low-impact exercise requires practitioners to use almost every muscle in each movement, but not stressed as it would be in a gym workout.


Tai Chi is fantastic for relaxation, balance improvement and flexibility.3 There are numerous Tai Chi courses in the market. Do a thorough research and register for trial lessons to find out what is best for you. Alternatively, video tutorials are available on the internet as well.


Deep breathing exercises

Breathing exercises are great workplace stress remedies. Most breathing exercises do not require much room, and you can do it by just sitting at your desk. Below are two examples. 


Equal time for breathing in and breathing out4

  1. Sit comfortably.
  2. Breathe in through your nose. As you do it, count to five.
  3. Breathe out through your nose to the count of five.
  4. Gradually work up to 10 counts.


Alternate Nostril Breathing5

  1. Sit up straight. Close right nostril with your right thumb.
  2. Slowly inhale and then exhale through left nostril.
  3. Close off left nostril with ring finger while releasing thumb from right nostril.
  4. Inhale and exhale through right nostril.
  5. Repeat for 10 cycles.


Give these simple, short exercises a try and don’t let stress control your life. Learn about active stress relieve exercise designed for kids as well.




  2. Intermountain Healthcare - Recognizing Stress
  3. CNN Health - Tai chi fights stress, getting popular with Millennials
  4. webMD - Breathing Techniques for Stress Relief
  5. incorporatemassage - Breathing Exercises for Workplace Stress Relief

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© Cigna 2019

Information provided in this article is intended for health and fitness purposes only and is not intended for use in the diagnosis of disease or other conditions, or in the cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease (see Terms & Conditions for details). Any health-related information found in this article is available only for your interest and should not be treated as medical advice. Users should seek any medical advice from a physician, especially before self-diagnosing any ailment or embarking on any new lifestyle or exercise regime. Any information contained in this article may not be suitable, accurate, complete or reliable. Cigna accepts no responsibility for the content or accuracy of information contained on external websites or resources, or for the security and safety of using them. "Cigna" and the "Tree of Life" logo are registered trademarks of Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. in the United States and elsewhere, licensed for use. All products and services are provided by or through operating subsidiaries, and not by Cigna Corporation.

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