August 14, 2015( Comments: 0 )

Exercise and Stress

What is Stress?

Stress is our body’s way of responding to any kind of demand. When we feel stressed by something going on around us, our bodies react by releasing chemicals (cortisol and epinephrine) into our blood. These chemicals give people more energy and strength, which can be a good thing if their stress is caused by physical danger. But this can also be a bad thing, if their stress is in response to something emotional and there is no outlet…

Many different things can cause stress – from physical (such as fear of something dangerous) to emotional (such as worry over your family or job.)

It is usually the emotional stress that really affects us on a daily basis, but physical stress can certainly come into play at times.

We all know that exercise does our body good, but we are sometimes too busy and stressed to fit it into our routine.

Any form of exercise can act as a stress reliever. Therefore it is extremely important and beneficial that we fit exercise into our day when we are dealing with stressful times.

Discover the connection between EXERCISE and STRESS RELIEF

Exercise increases your overall health and your sense of well-being, which puts a skip in your step every day. But exercise also has some direct stress-busting benefits…

  • It pumps up your endorphins – Physical activity helps bump up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Although this function is often referred to as a runner’s high, a rousing game of tennis, a gym session or a walk along one of our beautiful Northern Beaches will do just fine!
  • It’s meditation in motion – After your exercise, you’ll often find that you’ve forgotten the day’s irritations and concentrated only on your body’s movements.

As you begin to regularly shed your daily tensions through movement and physical activity, you may find that this focus on a single task, and the resulting energy and optimism, can help you remain calm and clear in everything you do.

  • It improves your mood – Regular exercise can increase self-confidence, it can relax you, and it can lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety. Exercise can also improve your sleep, which is often disrupted by stress, depression and anxiety. All of these exercise benefits can ease your stress levels and give you a sense of command over your body and your life.  
  • Do what you love – Virtually any form of exercise or movement can increase your fitness level while decreasing your stress. The most important thing is to pick an activity that you enjoy.

Gym Classes, Weight Training, Running, Tennis, Yoga, Pilates – choose a few that you love!

  • Lock it in – Although your schedule may vary, plan every week when you fit in your exercise. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the morning, or evening – the important thing is that you get it done! And do not book anything in over the top of this – your exercise is a priority!

E.G. If you have a doctor’s appointment booked in for 3.30pm on Tuesday, you wouldn’t prioritise anything over the top of this – exercise is no different! In fact, chances are if you do prioritise your exercise, your visits to the doctor will not be required 😉

Key Point

Remember exercise isn’t just about looking great, or trying to get that “perfect body” – there are far more benefits internally than externally!!

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