Who doesn’t feel stressed out sometimes with daily life? Life is stressful. But don’t make the mistake of thinking you can’t fit exercise into your schedule. Exercise has been proven to be one of the best ways to reduce stress.
It’s important to manage stress, because it not only makes you feel bad, but it can cause many health problems if left unchecked. Ongoing stress causes heart disease, diabetes, headaches, depression, gastrointestinal problems, Alzheimer’s, accelerated aging, and more. You should do everything possible to reduce stress in your daily life, and exercise can help you do just that.
Here are five ways that exercise helps reduce your stress level:
1) Exercise increases those important endorphins
Exercise stimulates the production of endorphins. These chemicals in your brain help improve your mood. Endorphins are what causes “runner’s high” and the feelings of relaxation and happiness that you experience after workouts.
Working out also improves your body’s ability to use oxygen and improves blood flow. Both changes have a positive effect on your brain.
Regular exercise improves your mood, helps you relax, improves your sleep, and helps give you a sense of control over your life.
2) Exercise reduces stress hormones
When you exercise your body not only releases endorphins which boost your mood, but at the same time it reduces levels of stress hormones. These hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, give you a feeling of stress, but exercise reduces that feeling. In particular, cortisol reduction helps you feel more calm and in control of your life.
3) Exercise gets your mind off your worries
Exercise is often repetitive and routine which is just what you need to get your mind off your worries. When you work out, it puts your focus on your body’s movements and off whatever is stressing you out.
When concentrating on exercise movements, you can gain the same benefits and relaxation that you do with meditation. This focus on physical movements can bring about calmness and clear thinking. For a chunk of time every day, you can tune out and focus on your body instead of your worries.
4) Exercise improves your self-confidence
Exercise improves your self-confidence, and a higher self-confidence increases your feelings of calm and well-being. As you become more fit and your waistline shrinks, you’ll feel more confident and in control. This leads to reduced feelings of stress.
5) Exercise increases social interaction
Studies show that people with social connections have lower levels of anxiety and stress. Exercising in a group fitness class or with a personal trainer can give you these important social connections. At Outlaw FitCamp, we offer both.
How much exercise do you need to manage stress?
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity every week. They suggest breaking this down to five 30-minute exercise sessions each week.
The AHA also suggests you incorporate at least two sessions of strength training exercises into your weekly routine. You should work out all your major muscle groups including arms, chest, back, legs and core muscles.
Enjoy the feeling of more calm and less stress
Most people feel more relaxed and happier immediately after a workout. Those feelings don’t end there and will become cumulative over time. You will most likely have increased feelings of happiness and well-being as you stay committed to consistent exercise.
It’s hard to start a new exercise routine. But once you start getting into better shape, you’ll begin to tolerate exercise much more. Then you start to actually enjoy it, and if you stick with it, you will come to depend on it.
Give us a call at Outlaw FitCamp and let us help you discover how exercise can reduce stress and make you feel calmer and happier. When you consider the physical and mental benefits of consistent exercise, it’s well worth the effort!