Stress Can Be Beaten If You Exercise

Some people simply do not believe that stress can be beaten by exercise.  This is mainly due to the misconception many have about what exercise is.

Mention the word ‘exercise’ and many people immediately think of spending hours in the gym, dragging their sweaty, tired body home afterwards.

The thought alone is enough to drive anyone’s stress levels through the roof, never mind reduce it!

Understanding what exercise is, as well as why and how it is beneficial in relieving stress can change your outlook. This could encourage you to do some exercise, which in turn can lead to a longer, healthier, less stressful life.

Although we all experience a little stress every now and then, excessive stress can cause serious health problems if not taken care of.  Stress can manifest itself in a number of ways:

If not relieved, continued stress can lead to undesirable behaviors such as under or over eating, excessive smoking as well as the abuse of alcohol, other substances and medications.

This can affect health and relationships negatively and lead to even more stress.

Stress can also cause high blood pressure, which thickens arterial walls. Eventually blood flow to the heart is inadequate and can result in a heart attack.

The immune system can also be negatively affected by stress causing other illnesses.

Exercise is a natural stress reliever which, done the right way, has no negative side effects and can lead to better health and relationships.

Any form of physical activity is considered exercise. You therefore do not have to join a gym or do strenuous exercises to get the benefits.

You do not even need any exercise equipment.  Taking your dog for a walk is considered exercise and will do just fine.

How and why is exercise beneficial?

  • Stress is caused by so-called “stress hormones” like cortisol. Exercise produces the feel-good hormone called endorphins. If you are feeling good, how can you feel stressed out?
  • Instead of thinking about your problems, while exercising, you are concentrating on the effort you are putting into the exercise. Problems take a back seat for a while.
  • Your mind relaxes and your mood improves.
  • Exercise helps us improve our bodies and with that comes better self-esteem.
  • With exercise comes improved health. Your immune system is strengthened and your body is able to fight colds and flu and other illness more effectively.
  • Exercises such as boxing and martial arts can be a wonderful outlet for frustration.
  • If you do decide to join a gym, you might just meet some very nice people. Having a supportive circle of friends can do wonders.

What is the best exercise?

Walking, cycling, spinning or a Pilates class?

One exercise is not necessarily better than another. What you should remember is that any exercise is better than no exercise at all.

People differ and what is enjoyable to one person might in fact cause stress in another! The point is to do some physical activity on a regular basis.

This is best achieved doing something you like. Exercise such as yoga, swimming and other cardio workouts are wonderful stress relievers. Put your favorite music on and dance!

 

 

A few exercise tips

  • Go for a good checkup before starting any exercise program.
  • Find an exercise or exercise routine you enjoy. For instance, if you dislike running, don’t do it! If you force yourself to do something you do not enjoy, chances are you will give up and go back to being a couch potato.
  • Start slowly and build up from there.  Trying to do 60 minutes of exercise if you are unfit is looking for trouble.
  • Try to do your exercises with a friend. That way you can motivate one another
  • Set goals. Knowing what you want from your exercise routine could help you stick to it.
  • Last, but not least. Do not think of exercise as another daily chore. Focus on all the benefits you are gaining (less stress and that good-looking body) and enjoy yourself!

 

 

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Category: The Effects of Exercise

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Jaks Lloyd is the publisher and author of this site.

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