How Can Exercise Reduces Stress?

How can exercise reduce stress

In today’s society we try to fit so much in which leads to a busy and hectic life. Between work and family there is often a reasonable amount of stress that we need to deal with in our day to day lives. The stress begins to build and often there is no outlet for it, therefore, we carry it with us creating emotional and physical problems.

As you know, (because it has hopefully been drummed into you by now) there are many physical benefits of exercise – exercise reduces obesity, reduces the risk of heart disease and increases the longevity of life. But did you know that exercise is a great way to reduce stress. So how does exercise help reduce stress?

Exercise is a very effective stress management technique because it provides an outlet for negative emotions such as worry, irritability, depression, hostility, anger, frustration, and anxiety. You can dissipate these feelings by simply taking it out on the tennis court, by running, or punching a bag.

Exercise reduces stress in a number of different ways:

Exercise relaxes muscles. Have you ever felt ‘uptight’ when stressed? Well A typical symptom of stress is muscle tension. Exercise can help the muscles to use the pent up energy and is effective in releasing muscle tension before it can result in muscle pain or spasms. A good example t relieve muscle tension is a yoga class.

Utilizes the stress hormones. A number of hormones are secreted into the blood stream when stressed. These hormones if not used up these can lead to feelings such as irritability which can eventually lead to a number of stress related illnesses. Exercising can help you to use some of the stress hormones that can accumulate in the body in response to stress. An example exercise for releasing stress hormones is boxing (also a great way to punch your trainer for making you work too hard).

Exercise gives you a feeling of happiness. Exercise also releases endorphins into the body, which give your body a natural boost of happiness and positive well being. They usually peak about one hour after exercise. An example of a good exercise which gives you the feeling of positive well being is a long run or cycle.

Exercise can reduce pent up frustration. Stress can lead to higher levels of pent up frustration. Exercise can help to reduce this pent up frustration.

Exercise can take your mind off your problems. Exercise can help to take your mind off your problems. How often have you been stressed after a hard day’s work or worrying about paying a bill, only to have it all wash away as you take in a change of scene, kicking a ball, or running in a beautiful park.

Improve your resiliency to stress. Exercise can also improve your resilience to stress. Research shows that those who exercise are more likely to have less of a stress reaction to adverse situations. Fit people are more likely to handle the effects of stress and are less likely to ‘burn out’.

Now that we now how exercise reduces stress lets all go for a run and relax!

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