Almost everyone feels stress on a regular basis! The amount of stress can change from time to time as old problems are dealt with and new ones arise; however, sometimes, the level of stress can become almost unbearable. For students, it could be the stress of finals. For parents, it could be when their children suffer injuries or get in trouble. Stress from the job can come from all kinds of places. Many people have heard that exercise can be used to deal with stress. Those who exercise regularly know that this is true. But, how can exercise be used to help people manage stress?
Use Exercise to Release Endorphins
Many people have heard about something called a “runner’s high.” This is the rush of endorphins that people feel when they finish a long run. Endorphins are a chemical signal released from the brain called a neurotransmitter. Endorphins affect people’s mood in a positive way, making them feel happy. This is why people refer to the feeling as a “runner’s high” but this feeling can be released by any sort of strenuous, continuous exercise. Those who don’t like to run, or physically can’t, can also release endorphins by biking or swimming. Those who enjoy team sports may find benefits from playing basketball, tennis, or any other type of aerobic sport. Use exercise to release endorphins and unleash that happy feeling. The happiness will help the stress melt away!
Use Exercise to Focus the Mind
In addition to making people feel happy, exercise can also help people become more focused while dealing with stress. For those who haven’t noticed, it is probably easier to focus on that big exam or finish a major work project immediately after exercising. This is because exercise improves people’s focus. During the exercise routine, the body releases adrenaline (also called epinephrine) as part of the “fight or flight” response. While a person exercising isn’t actively trying to fight, the body releases adrenaline to release stores of sugar and help the body exercise. These hormones also help to focus the mind on the activity the body is trying to perform. This added focus can help people come up with great ideas while working out and persists after exercise has finished. This added focus can make it easier to complete whatever it on the to-do list, helping to relieve stress.
Exercise will Improve Sleep
When people feel stressed out, they are likely having trouble sleeping at night. Without a good night’s rest, the lack of sleep will only add to the burden of stress. Without sleep, the body cannot function properly. People will feel like they are “dragging” all day, and people become more irritable. Nothing will help someone sleep better at night like using exercise to exhaust the body physically; however, people should remember that the body will release adrenaline during the exercise routine. Therefore, try not to exercise immediately before bed. People will likely feel too wired to sleep immediately after a workout. Use exercise to deal with stress, improve sleep hygiene and feel more energetic in the morning.
Exercise has been Proven to Reduce Depression
Many people who suffer from chronically high levels of stress may start to feel depressed. Symptoms of depression include the inability to enjoy activities that were once pleasurable and chronic feelings of low self-esteem. Depression can sap someone’s confidence and make it challenging to perform even the most routine daily tasks. This will only make people feel more stressed out. Because exercise releases endorphins that make people feel happy, exercise can be used to reduce symptoms of depression and will help people feel like they matter. When this happens, the stress of depression will melt away and people will be more productive in their daily lives again.
Develop an Exercise Routine
It can be challenging for people who don’t exercise regularly to find time in their daily routine for exercise. They may feel as though they are already having trouble dealing with the stress in their life that they don’t have time for exercise; however, exercise is like meditation while moving. This means that people will be more focused after their exercise routine and can complete tasks more efficiently. Try to find time on a regular basis to exercise. This could be in the morning before work, during lunch, or even immediately after work as a break before starting on other tasks. Once exercise becomes part of the daily routine, people will quickly realize that the stress in their life is quickly disappearing.
Start Low and Go Slow
Some people may already exercise on a regular basis, which is fantastic; however, other people may be looking to start exercising for the first time. People shouldn’t go full throttle when they get up from the couch because this could lead to injury. Start by walking for an hour or so on a daily basis and gradually start to work up to running. It could also be helpful to try a team sport and release stress with other people. This could make it easier to stick to a new exercise routine and make it a fun social activity in the process. Exercise is used to relieve stress; however, it should be an enjoyable experience at the same time. There are many different ways to exercise and people should find what works best for them.
Ultimately, these are only a few of the many different ways and reasons that exercise can help people remove the stress in their life. For many people, stress can feel like an anchor that makes it challenging to function on a daily basis. Exercise can be used to help release the stress that has built up over a long period of time. Exercise can bring both physical and emotional benefits to everyone.
*Disclaimer: This article provides general information about medicine, health, and related subjects. The words and other content provided in this article by MedSense, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately licensed physician and other health care worker.