JoggingCredit: Peter Griffin

Walking, jogging or any physical activities are often recommended for people who are under pressure. The reason for this is because exercise can help you relax. So, how does exercise relieve stress?  As you read further, you will find-out the answer to this fascinating question.

Endorphin, Serotonin, and the Stress Hormones

In a physiological point of view, exercise relieves stress through the release of endorphins and serotonins. As you know, stress is a byproduct of hormone imbalance.

During stressful situations, your body releases atypical amounts of cortisol, norepinephrine, and other stress hormones, resulting in hormone imbalance. Exercise can counter this imbalance. To explain further, when you exercise for at least 20 to 30 minutes, your body releases a mood-elevating hormones known as endorphin and serotonin. These hormones will not only bring forth a euphoric state, but they will also restore balance.

Keep in mind that this effect is not only applicable for joggers or runners. Although most researchers centered their studies on runners, it was concluded that any aerobic exercises can trigger the release of endorphins and serotonin. Hence, if you prefer less extraneous activities, you can try brisk walking.

A Physically Fit ManCredit: National Institute of Health (Wikimedia Commons)

On another note, too much exercise is not advisable. Body exhaustion will automatically drop both serotonin and endorphin levels in your body. To avoid this, you can do some breathing exercises or meditation when you feel tired. This is because these post-exercise activities can enhance the soothing effects of endorphin.

Aside from that, if you exercise regularly, the release of these hormones may take longer than the usual 30 minute time-frame because your body is already accustomed to tensions brought by exercise. Hence, you can extend your exercise routine to at least 40 to 60 minutes to release enough amounts of these hormones. 

If you want to know more about endorphin and serotonin, this article entitled "A Euphoric State known as The Runner's High: a Fact or a Fallacy?" may give you more information. 

An Outlet to Release Pressure and Frustrations

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In another point of view, exercise relieves stress by acting as a way to let go your negative emotions.

Basically, when you’re stressed, you have a lot of build up pressure, negative energies, or frustrations. Exercise and other physical activities will help you release this negativity. There is actually no scientific explanation about this matter. But, if you can release this negativity, you can acquire a calm state of mind.

Remember, stress is a byproduct of too much pressure, negative thoughts, and emotions. If you keep on storing these thoughts and feelings, it will continuously build-up until you can't hold it any longer and eventually you will explode. Hence, the best option you can do is to liberate this negativity on a regular basis. Plus, exercise will also serve as a distraction. It can help you forget your intense thoughts and feelings even if it's just for a short duration. 

Improve Your Overall Health   

The last explanation on how exercise relieves stress is basically related to your overall health.

While it is a fact that too much stress can deteriorate your health, it can also be the other way around. Meaning, stress can also be acquired if you are sick or unhealthy. 

Take your medical expenses for example. If you don’t have health insurances or a savings account, financial problems will arise. This will eventually lead to anxiety. Plus, when you're sick,  a lot of negative thoughts are lingering in your mind. This is especially true if you don’t know the exact cause of your physical deterioration.

As you can see, exercise plays a vital role not only in developing your physique but also in stress prevention and management. So, the next time you feel some tensions, consider going for a walk or a jog. It will not only help you relax. You can also gain a lot of health benefits from these types of physical activities. 

How does Exercise Relieve StressCredit: Image courtesy of skeeze -

Stress Reducing Exercises