We all know that exercise is great for our body, but did you know that it is also an effective stress buster? If you feel like you’re too busy and stressed to fit in a workout, think again…
Any form of exercise, whether that’s a intense HIIT workout, or a half an hour walk around your neighbourhood, can be an effective form of stress relief. So if you’re stressed, make sure you fit in some physical activity today.
How exactly does it reduce stress levels?
- It boosts your endorphins.
Exercise increases the production of endorphins, which make us feel good. Ever heard of the saying ‘runner’s high’? That’s where it comes from. Although, it’s not exclusive to running. Any form of aerobic activity can result in the same feelings.
- It reduces the negative effects of stress.
Exercise imitates the effects of stress, like the flight or fight response. By doing this, it helps your body to practice working together through these responses. It also has positive effects on your body physically, like improving your cardiovascular, digestive and immune systems, which helps to protect your body from harmful effects of stress.
- It puts your brain into a form of meditation.
After an intense workout, you can often find that you’ve forgotten what you were worried about, and concentrate just on your body. It helps you to regularly shed your daily tensions through physical activity, which can help you stay calm, positive, and focused.
- It boosts your mood.
Regular exercise can help to boost self-confidence and improve your mood. It also helps you to relax, and lowers symptoms of mild depression and anxiety. Physical activity can also improve your sleep, which is often disrupted by stress, depression and anxiety.
So how do you establish an exercise routine, and stick with it?
- Set yourself some goals. That could be to go for a walk on your lunch break twice a week, or to partake in 3 online fitness videos a week at home.
- Find a fitness buddy. They can be a great motivator and help you commit to workouts. Plus, they can make exercising more fun!
- Change things up. Try different things to find something you love – this way it will feel less like a chore.
- Exercise in short busts. If you’re super busy and can’t fit a solid 30 minutes in, try a few 10 minute walks throughout the day. You can even try doing some squats, stretches, or pushups throughout the day.
- Make exercise a regular part of your lifestyle. Incorporate it into your routine – any form of physical activity can help you unwind and become an important part of managing your stress.
Check out last week’s Wellness Wednesday blog all about how to destress at Christmas HERE