10 Ways Working Out Helps You Relieve Annual Holiday Stress
We all know that exercise benefits you physically. But your friends at Outlaw FitCamp want to remind you that exercise is very good at reducing your stress level, too! The holidays can be lots of fun, but they also can cause a great deal of stress.
Even if you feel too busy to exercise during the holidays, the time spent working out will be time well spent.
Why are holidays so stressful?
First, we should discuss why holidays are so stressful in the first place. A lot of it is due to expectations. It can be overwhelming to try to have the perfect holiday. Special meals, Christmas cards, finding the right gifts, wrapping…people can put themselves under tremendous stress to make everything perfect.
There are parties to attend that make you extra busy, or there can be a lack of party invitations which can be disappointing. Then there is the financial burden of the holidays. Gifts, food, greeting cards, decorations—there can be so many extra expenses this time of year. Add to these the stress that many people feel if obligated to travel or welcome visitors.
Lastly, holidays can add an extra sadness to people who have lost a family member or friend in recent years.
Unfortunately, all this stress is bad for your health!
How stress is harmful to your well-being
Stress has a harmful effect on you, both physically and mentally.
When under stress, your body releases a hormone that increases your breathing and heart rate. This causes your blood pressure to rise. Stress frequently causes headaches and stomach issues, interferes with your sleep, and can make your muscles tense and sore. Stress can also cause you to feel cranky and forgetful.
Finally, stress weakens your immune system. You’re much more likely to get sick when under stress. And who has time to get sick during the holidays?
Ten ways exercise helps you reduce the inevitable holiday stress
The good news is that exercise is a proven stress reliever! Here are ten things that exercise does which reduces stress:
1) Releases endorphins—the feel-good hormones
Exercise causes your body to produce endorphins. These are the “feel-good” transmitters that are also called “runner’s high.” But they come from any type of exercise and give people a feeling of happiness and well-being after working out.
2) Lowers stress hormones
While exercise releases hormones that make you feel good, it also lowers stress hormones like cortisol. This cortisol reduction helps you feel calmer after a workout.
3) Takes your mind off what is causing stress
Exercise helps take your mind off the things that are causing you stress. By concentrating on the movements of your exercise, you’ll experience many of the same benefits as you do from meditation.
4) Decreases muscle tension
Exercise relaxes muscle tension which helps you feel calmer.
5) Increases blood flow which positively affects your brain
Working out increases blood flow and improves your body’s ability to effectively use oxygen. Both have a positive impact on your brain and feelings of well-being.
6) Improves your mood
Many studies have proven that exercise greatly improves your mood.
7) Can increase social interaction which reduces stress
Group exercise classes, like the ones we offer at Outlaw FitCamp, provide a great place for social interaction with like-minded people. These interactions can be a great stress reliever.
8) Gives you more energy and stamina
The energy and increased stamina you get from exercise help you accomplish all the busy tasks of holiday preparations and activities. As you are better able to complete all your necessary tasks, the more relaxed you’ll feel.
9) Improves your quality of sleep
Exercise has been proven to improve your quality of sleep. And getting a good night’s sleep greatly increases your feeling of calmness and well-being.
10) Improved mood continues even after exercise is over
Most people feel an immediate improvement in their mood as soon as their workout is complete. But this feeling can continue. The more regular your exercise is, the more consistent your increased feelings of well-being will be.
Have a stress-free holiday season
One of the best ways to make sure you get the exercise you need to reduce stress is to schedule it—especially during these busy days ahead. Make exercise a priority and you truly will have a more relaxed holiday season ahead. Outlaw FitCamp exercise classes, or sessions with one of our certified personal trainers, are excellent ways to schedule these important workouts.
Call us today. We can help you reduce your stress and better enjoy the holidays!