Adapting to lifestyle changes can cause you to experience stress and anxiety. How does physical exercise reduce stress?
Exercise can help lower your overall stress level and improve your quality of life, both mentally and physically. Exercising can positively affect your mood by relieving tension, anxiety, anger, and mild depression that often go hand in hand with stress. Training can improve the quality of your sleep, which can be negatively affected by stress, depression, and anxiety. It can also help increase your confidence level.
How does exercise help with stress?
Physical activity improves the body’s ability to use oxygen and blood flow. Training also increases the brain’s production of endorphins. Endorphins are the “feel-good” neurotransmitters responsible for the coveted “runner’s high.”, which is the feeling of well-being and euphoria that many experiences after exercise.
Physical activity can also help clear your mind. The repetitive movements involved in exercise focus on your body instead of your mind. This focus can help provide peace and clarity. By concentrating on the rhythm of your workouts, you experience many of the same benefits of meditation while exercising. Focusing on a single physical task can give a sense of energy and optimism.
Some people notice an improvement in mood immediately after a workout. These feelings do not end there but generally become cumulative over time. Chances are you will see increased feelings of well-being when you stick to a consistent exercise routine.
Improvements to your overall health can indirectly help moderate your stress levels. By improving your physical well-being and heart health, you will have less to feel stressed over. Regular exercise also promotes optimal health in other ways.
Among some of the additional benefits, exercise can help:
- strengthen muscles and bones
- improve your immunity, which can reduce the risk of disease and infection
- lower blood pressure, sometimes as much as some antihypertensive medications
- increase the levels of the good cholesterol in your blood
- improve blood circulation
- improve your ability to control your weight
- help you sleep better at night
- increase your energy
- improve your self-image
How much training do you need?
You should have at least 180 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week. Break it down by tackling 30-40 minute workouts at least five days a week. If you have a short time and do not fit in an entire 30-minute session, three 10-minute workouts are an alternative.
You should include at least two sessions of muscle-strengthening activities in your weekly routine. Exercise all your major muscle groups, including arms, shoulders, chest, back, abdomen, legs, abdomen, and other core muscles.
Make sure you gradually build up your physical activity level if you are new to an exercise program. You could start with 20 minutes of aerobic exercise three days a week and gradually increase from there.
What types of exercise help with stress?
There are many ways to reach your weekly training goals. You do not have to be a marathon runner or an elite athlete to experience stress relief from training. Almost any type of exercise can be helpful.
Consider trying moderate aerobic exercises such as:
- brisk walking or jogging
- swimming or water aerobics
- play tennis or racquetball
When it comes to muscle strengthening exercises, you should consider trying weightlifting or activities with resistance bands. Gardening or choosing to take the stairs instead of the elevator can give you an emotional boost.
Any form of exercise can increase fitness and reduce stress. However, choosing an activity you enjoy is essential instead of dreading it. If you do not like the water, do not choose swimming as an activity. Try a variety of activities until you find someone you want.