Exercise and Stress Relief
It’s certainly no surprise that #stress relief and exercise go hand-in-hand. But what is it about #exercise that helps to ward off stress so well? In this article, we’ll discuss the reasons why exercise works, and easy ways to work exercise in to your busy life!
The many benefits of exercise have long been known to athletes, but even if you’re not overtly active, you still have much to gain from regular exercise.
The physical benefits of exercise start with an increase in strength. Every muscle in your body (including your heart and lungs), gains strength when you exercise them. And a stronger body is normally a healthier body, more resistant to injury and disease.
An increase in energy is a physical benefit that you may not expect from exercise. Most people would assume you’d become more tired if you exercise, but for the vast majority, the exact opposite is true. Regular exercise actually increases your overall energy, helps you get more restful sleep, and revs up your metabolism – even when you’re sleeping!
Finally, exercise will increase your endurance, so that you have longer-lasting energy to do the things you love!
The most important psychological benefit to exercise that relates to stress relief is the release of endorphins in your brain that occurs when you work out. Endorphins are those “feel good” brain chemicals that help create a feeling of well-being, euphoria, and accomplishment.
This is where the stress-relief comes in. When you exercise, and you create that rush of endorphins into your brain, you simply feel better. You become happier, it becomes easier to clearly think about your problems and their solutions without becoming overwhelmed, and stress and depression abate.
It’s easier than you may think to work in small bits of exercise throughout your day. The first thing you should do is figure out what you enjoy –then simply do more of that. Walking, hiking, jogging, lifting weights…these are all activities that are easy to accomplish in our day to day lives. How about a pick-up game of basketball with the neighbors or going roller blading with your kids? Making exercise a social activity helps to keep it fun and exciting.
You can also extend your normal activities for exercise benefits. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or park a few blocks from work and walk to the office. Take long walks during your lunch break.
Fitting in exercise is easy to do, and you’ll immediately notice the stress-busting benefits!