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Could this small change be the secret to a stress-busting workout?


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Photo: Stocksy/Studio Firma

Getting an endorphin boost is as much of a reason to head to the gym as the body-toning benefits: the high from working out is real. Those 45 minutes when you’re tuning everything out and only focusing on the music pumping through your headphones and how your body feels might be the only part of your day that’s all about you.

Science has shown that working up a sweat out can reduce stress, but could you unknowingly be undoing the benefits by watching the news at the same time? Let’s face it: CNN can be anxiety-inducing these days—no matter where you fall on the political spectrum.

Eighty percent of Americans have reported at least one health symptom because of stress.

Taking that idea and running with it (so to speak), New York-based Blink Fitness is banning the news from all of its gyms every Monday in April, AKA National Stress Awareness Month (in case you were completely unaware of the fact that you probably need a relaxing vacay, stat). Instead, the gyms are airing lighter fare only, like Friends and Ridiculousness. “We always want Blink to be a place our members turn to when they need a mood boost,” says Ellen Roggemann, the chain’s vice president of marketing.

Roggemann was inspired to launch the campaign after a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association found that 80 percent of Americans have reported at least one health symptom because of stress. The logic follows that if you’re putting in serious sweat time to prioritize your health, the overall vibe should be positive, not anxiety-inducing.

So whether it’s going to your favorite boutique fitness class, running outside, or doing an at-home workout, if you can tune into yourself (without a news anchor’s voice intruding with the latest OMG-can-you-believe-it revelation) you might just give your fitness—and mood—an added boost.

And if you want to take it to the next level—here’s how to do a news “detox” while still staying informed. And, bookmark alert: This meditation will instantly calm you down, no matter what’s going on in the world.