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Managing Stress With Exercise Handout

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Managing stress with exercise means doing physical activity — such as running, dancing, or playing sports — as an intentional way to reduce anxious feelings. According to a systematic review and meta-analysis, physical activity lowers cortisol levels and may lead to better sleep outcomes.

The Managing Stress With Exercise Handout discusses the science behind stress and exercise and provides 3 tips clients can follow. For example, it reminds clients to choose activities they enjoy and set aside time to engage in some form of activity.

Using this handout helps kids and teens learn and experience the positive mental health effects of exercise, such as reduced anxiety levels. In case they need more information about stress, feel free to download this handout on How Stress Affects The Brain And Body as an additional resource.

This handout is included in our 39-page Stress Management Handouts Bundle, which shares many different activities for stress relief backed by science.

*This item is an instant digital download. A link to download your files will be emailed to you once payment is confirmed.

Want more resources like this? Check out our full catalog of stress management worksheets and handouts.


  1. De Nys L, Anderson K, Ofosu EF, Ryde GC, Connelly J, Whittaker AC. The effects of physical activity on cortisol and sleep: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2022 Sep;143:105843. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2022.105843. Epub 2022 Jun 24. PMID: 35777076.
  2. Jackson, E. M. (2013). STRESS RELIEF. Acsm’s Health & Fitness Journal, 17(3), 14–19. https://doi.org/10.1249/fit.0b013e31828cb1c9
  3. Larun, L., Nordheim, L., Ekeland, E., Hagen, K., & Heian, F. (2006). Exercise in prevention and treatment of anxiety and depression among children and young people. The Cochrane Library. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.cd004691.pub2
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  • File: PDF
  • Size: 8.5" x 11"

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