Stress is unavoidable. In the United States, seven out of every ten adults experiences some form of anxiety or stress on a daily basis, according to a survey conducted by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

Stress can be caused by a number of things: challenges at work, relationship issues or unexpected life events. Stress itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing: it can be a sign that you’re pushing yourself to a more intense level, which is often what’s required to achieve important goals. But when stress isn’t managed correctly over a long period of time, it can lead to physical ailments such as high blood pressure, headaches, heart issues, diabetes and more. Managing stress is crucial – and one of the best means of stress management is consistent exercise.

Exercising consistently has a number of physical and mental benefits. Exercise can help boost muscle strength and burn fat. It can help your body fight off disease, reduce fatigue, improve alertness and concentration, and even jumpstart or sharpen cognitive function. Working out help to ease tension, improve sleep and keep you focused. Exercise helps manage and/or reduce symptoms caused by stress—such as fatigue or increased tension—and working out in moderation will help to keep you energized and healthy.

So, if you’re feeling stressed, give yourself permission to take care of you. Check with your doctor to see if there are any activities you should be avoiding. If not, it’s time to pick up a new activity like yoga, swimming or cycling and start exercising regularly. Cycling is actually a perfect, cardio exercise for overall stress reduction too—it’s low impact, will get you outdoors so you’ll get plenty of fresh air while helping you burn calories and build muscle strength. Cycling is also a fantastic social activity, and meeting up with friends or joining a meet-up for a fun group ride will help to ease any stress-related symptoms. If you’d like to learn more about group cycling, click here.