As well as practising your breathing on quality Yoga mats and letting off steam by meditating for a few minutes every evening, stressed-out people could take up running to ease the mental strain imposed by work and family life.

According to diet and fitness expert Laura Williams, running helps relieve stress by promoting the release of endorphins, which have a natural energy boosting effect on the body.

"You can use running as quiet time to focus and contemplate, two things that can be difficult to do in other environments when there are so many distractions," she explained. "It can be a time to take in your surroundings and focus on your breathing - a little time out, basically, from your To Do list."

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail reports that fitness has become the ’new rich’, and in order to keep up with the Joneses we have to continually pledge ourselves to complete 10K runs, marathons and other sporting events.

Celebrity trainer Dan Roberts told the newspaper that individuals are training harder than ever before.

"There has been a rise in the number of people doing crazy ultra-endurance events like the Marathon des Sables, or city-based obstacle courses like the Rat Race," he explained.

"I think the recession has played a part - people need a way to release stress and exercise is the best stress-management tool and it costs nothing to go for a ten-mile run."

Lifestyle blogger Judy Fixler of reckons running gives people a chance to clear their head and let go of all the niggles they’ve been dwelling on throughout the day - and getting active is a much healthier way to reduce stress than by self-medicating with alcohol and cake.

If you’re not into the whole getting up early and running around the park five times thing, look into investing in Yoga equipment so that you can have some quiet ’me time’ each day in which to think through your problems calmly and reach a solution in your head.

Posted by Freya Harper