Everyone seems angry most of the time. At work, at home, on the road—the fuse is short out there. A new fitness fad has hit the training circuit to ostensibly designed to blow off steam—Angerobics. Bengaluru-based fitness coach and founder of FitDrome, Prakash Jay, says, “Angerobics is a relatively new concept, which has been introduced in the fitness world. It has exercises that help in anger management and include all kinds of physical activities that are significantly intense. Fast walking to boxing—angerobics helps a person to calm both the body and the mind.
The physical activity involved releases happy hormones such as endorphins, dopamine and serotonin and creates the feeling of bliss and boosts the feel-good factor in the participants, thereby improving their self-esteem, relieving depression and preventing volatile behaviour in the short as well as the long run.” This new workout regimen typically includes stretching, boxing, medicine ball slams, weightlifting, dance-based workouts, along with mind-body exercises such as yoga, tai chi and pilates.
Angerobics incorporates weightlifting—one of the oldest and most popular forms of exercise to develop the strength and size of skeletal muscles. “It engages both the body and the mind since the focus is devoted to a single task, that is to overcome resistance. After workout, the body tries to compensate for the energy loss. Muscle tears happen, and the body goes on a repair drive. The more muscle you have the more serotonin you produce,” says fitness coach Mannan R Dattah of Knockout Fight Club.
However, Gurugram-based fitness expert Shweta Rai Bajaj counsels caution. “Weight training should be done using the correct techniques and only under trained supervision, since wrong methods could lead to serious injuries. Progressive overload is the right way to do weight training and the help of a coach is needed to improve performance and push you closer to your achieve your anger management goals.”
Similarly, combat sports is also integrated in angerobics training. Sportsperson Pincky Balhara trained under her uncle Samundra Tokas. Exercise tamed her anger and she managed to channelise her unbridled energy to her advantage. Along with it came the focus that enabled her to win a silver medal at the Asian Games in Kurash last year.
“Becoming a fighter is the ultimate way to deal with negative emotions. When you hit something in the right manner, you are applying the combined force of your body and mind to the task. It is almost like meditation and one is mindful of the blows. You learn to hit and get hit by toughening yourself. Make your muscles alternatively hard and loose, breathing easy all the while and stay calm in between. Combat sports looks violent to a spectator but the best fighters are the calmest people to have around,” says Dattah.
Nowadays, some offices keep boxing bags to allow their employees to vent their frustration and anger. “After a stressful meeting, throw some punches on it to dissipate your anger. But you must learn the proper technique to avoid injuring your wrist. Regular boxing sessions help manage stress in the long run and also help improve cardiovascular fitness,” says Jay.
Those with a habit of throwing things in a fit of rage can try their hands at medicine ball slams. “Lift a sufficiently heavy slam ball overhead and bring it down it on the floor as hard as possible. Focus on technique and breathing to avoid injuring your lower back. Perform 12-15 reps of three sets and feel your anger dissipate. But this is not recommended for beginners,” says CK Sankar, Head, Fitness and Wellness, Dcamp Crossfit, Bengaluru.
Some gyms keep a giant vehicle tyre with a big hammer next to it. Hitting and kicking them are ideal ays to release your anger and frustration, shares Dattah. “Any kind of slam, be it medicine ball slam or hammer slam, helps you to release negative energy. But be mindful of what your are doing, stay conscious of the act, do it with intent and see great results,” he says. Dance fitness exercises are part of angerobics.
“Participants have fun moving to rhythmic beats, which are not as monotonous as working out on an exercise machine”, says Prajyoti Madhusudan, an exponent of Natya Aerobics. “An excellent way to bust your anger is through dance. Dance workouts are both fun and engaging. Its constant variation keeps one motivated and makes one stick to the program for a long period of time. Dance also improves flexibility, cardio fitness to a certain extent strength and increases lower body power. But the chance of getting injured is high as the movements are complex and fast. It is better to compliment dance with basic strength training. Beginners can start with low-intensity dance classes and gradually progress to the higher intensity," says Jay. Whatever, be the method, don’t let anger beat you, beatit out of you with workouts.