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Stress is a part of life and most of us have a certain level of stress in our lives. Although, it’s almost impossible to eliminate, we are able to manage it.
Exercise can help lower your overall stress levels and, at the same time, improve your quality of life both mentally and physically.
Here are 5 Ways Exercise Helps Reduce Stress:
- Increased Endorphins – Exercise releases feel-good endorphins which is why you tend to feel good (aka “runner’s high”) after a workout.
- Better Sleep – Sleep can be negatively impacted by stress, depression, and anxiety. Exercise tires your body and helps you sleep better.
- Improve Overall Cognitive Function (ie. alertness and concentration) – Stress depletes you of your energy and focus. Exercise helps improve overall cognitive function.
- Elevate Mood – Physical activity can help elevate your mood by relieving the tension, anxiety, and/or depression that often go hand-in-hand with stress.
- Increase Emotional Well-Being – Studies show that exercising on a regular basis increases self-esteem and self-confidence. And individuals with high self-esteem have few stress related problems.
Overall, exercising will take your mind off your worries. It’s been said that it produces some of the same benefits as meditating. Since your concentration is on the repetitive movements, it promotes a focus on your body rather than your mind. This focus can help provide clarity and calmness.
I believe that this has helped with my anxiety and stress levels since I’ve been consistently exercising for the past year. I used to have pretty severe anxiety when traveling and got to a point where I would rather stay home and have a “staycation” than to travel and see the world. Travelling was a passion of mine; I used to travel at least twice a year. However, this year I recently went to the Caribbean and have plans to go on another trip. I found that my recent trip went almost stress free and my anxiety levels were pretty low to probably non-existent.
We all know that exercising on a regular basis is healthy, but many of us feel that we are too busy and stressed to fit it into our daily routine. It not only has health benefits but is also a natural stress management technique. The benefits are not only physical, but also mental. So lets all try to be more physically active!