How Exercise Helps Reduce Stress
Stress is something that affects all of us in many ways. It can vary from a stressful time of our lives to just everyday tasks and to-dos. What’s important is learning to manage your stress, so it doesn’t affect your physical and mental health.
Well, if you’re wondering what the best way to manage your stress is, I have it: EXERCISE! So simple and very effective.
Have you ever noticed after you bust out a great and sweaty workout you feel elated, and your worries seem to melt away for a bit? That’s the natural anti-stress working.
So how can you integrate exercise into your routine, and why will it help the stress in your life? I’m here to lay it all out for you.
How Exercise Can Reduce Stress
Stress can affect your entire body, but first, it affects your brain. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins – which is the body’s natural pain killer and mood booster. So naturally, when you’re regularly active, this hormone is produced more, and the overall result is you feel your best.
“Exercise is one of the best ways for the human body to relieve stress and release anger.” – Allison Pescosolido, M.A.
Thirty minutes of activity every day is recommended to benefit your body, heart, and mind. A daily habit of exercise or movement has been shown to not only improve mood but help with depression and anxiety as well.
Getting up and moving your body is one of the best natural stress relievers. It also leads to better sleep, higher self-esteem, and improve memory. And if you exercise first thing in the morning, those feel good chemicals can keep you feeling optimal throughout your day.
As you can see, there are lots of reasons to get up and get active!
Exercise to Reduce Stress, Not Add Stress
Exercise is good for your health but overdoing it can actually create more stress for you. You certainly don’t want that. When exercising, you have to be mindful and listen to your body.
For example, if you typically do a 10- to 20-minute workout and then suddenly you do a 2- to 3-hour exercise, you can tax your body beyond what it’s used to. Challenge is good but going to an extreme may leave you worse off. The strain on your body may be too much, and you might harm yourself.
Doing intense exercises that you aren’t used to can also cause a strain on your body. Make sure there’s enough rest time between taxing workouts so that your body can recover.
Side-note: If you have adrenal issues you’ll find out pretty quickly if you feel worse after you exercise rather than better. We recommend you come in to see us to get an adrenal check up so that you don’t stress them out even more with exercise.
How to Fit it Into Your Life
You might be wondering what the best way is to implement activity into your life. Well, there are tons of different ways to be active, and you can always switch it up! Going to the gym isn’t the only way to exercise. Many people aren’t comfortable or happy working out in a gym, and that’s absolutely fine.
Find what fits into your lifestyle and makes you happy. An ideal way to introduce exercise into your life is by walking. While it may seem simple, it’s a great way to promote cardiovascular health and can be relaxing and meditative. Try going for a walk, slow or brisk, around your neighborhood, downtown, or even a nearby park.
Additional forms of exercise you can try are yoga, Pilates (my personal favorite), or other exercise classes. There are studios all over that have fun and exciting new workouts to try.
You could also try joining exercise or sports groups to get active and meet new people. If you loved playing a sport when you were a kid, try joining an adult league to rekindle your love of that sport.
Not into group exercise classes or team sports? You can still grab a buddy or family member and enjoy each other’s company as you both get in a workout.
Whichever sport or activity you choose, make it a priority in your life. Schedule it into your calendar so you know when it’s coming and do your best not to skip it.
Stay Active to Feel Your Best
Whatever it is that makes you happy and active, try incorporating it into your life a couple of times a week. Doing so can give you an outlet for your stress and keep you feeling your best.
What’s your favorite way to stay active? How does it make you feel? Leave a comment below to let me know.
Be Well & Thrive!
With Love & In Health,
Sarah Outlaw, MH, MSACN
- For more information on who we are and what we do at Natural Health Improvement Center of South Jersey and Natural Health Improvement Center of Des Moines, browse the rest of our website. We offer Root Cause Nutrition, Nutritional Coaching, Nutrition Response Testing, Functional Nutrition, Herbal Medicine, Flower Essence Therapy, and Homeopathy. We also offer detox services including an infrared sauna, and PEMF (pulsed electromagnetic field therapy mat, and foot bath (DSM office). We are on the front lines of wellness for you! Health starts here!
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