With the fast pace of modern life, it’s easy to become stressed out and overwhelmed. Between work, family, friends and other obligations, stress can build up to an unhealthy level and you may find yourself seeking out a drink or sweet snack to cope. The good news is that you don’t have to indulge in unhealthy habits to manage your stress. Working out is an excellent way to burn off stress and end up feeling and looking better too (same can’t be said for that carton of ice cream calling your name).
Here’s how it works!
Working Out Strengthens Your Body
Working out strengthens each part of your body and helps your body’s systems to work with each other better. When faced with a stressor, you’ll be better equipped to handle the physical effects of stress if you’ve kept your body in good shape and trained to withstand trying situations. Even something as simple as a jog around the block can help teach your body how to deal with stress.
Work Off the Fight-or-Flight Response
In ancient history, the most common source of stress was simple survival. Because of this, our bodies naturally activate the fight-or-flight response when we become stressed; however, for most modern stressors, neither running nor fighting is a good response. Even after we deal with the stressor, the fight-or-flight instinct remains. Exercising gives our bodies an outlet for this natural instinct, allowing you to calm down after a stressful moment.
Endorphins Elevate Your Mood
Endorphins are the body’s natural painkillers, soothing away pains while improving your mood. Exercise stimulates the natural release of endorphins, giving you a quick dose of feel-good chemicals as you continue working out. Many people experience a natural high at the end of a lengthy workout session thanks to these hormones.
Moving Meditation Clears the Head
Many exercises require focus and routine, forcing you to leave your worries behind as you concentrate on your physical actions. When you’re pushing through your final mile or aiming for a perfect deadlift, you don’t have time to worry about your latest work project. If you can achieve this kind of mental state as you exercise, you’ll reap many of the same benefits that meditation offers.
Improved Sleep Through Exercise
Sleep is one of the best cures for stress-related ailments, but stress often makes it more difficult to sleep. The vicious cycle of stress-related insomnia can be broken with a liberal dose of exercise. Working out naturally tires your body and makes it easier to fall asleep. With better sleep, you’ll be better able to handle your regular stress so it’s a win-win.
Finding Time for Exercise Can Improve Organization
Exercise has many direct benefits, but it also has an indirect benefit. You can’t squeeze a thirty-minute workout into fifteen minutes; if you want to work out for thirty minutes, you have to find that time in your day. Working exercise into your daily schedule forces you to improve your organization so that you can make the time for your workout. In turn, this improved organization can translate to making the rest of your life more organized and less stressful.
Exercise is essential for your physical health, but its ability to help relieve stress can’t be overlooked either. If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed by stress, adding exercise to your daily routine can give you some much-needed relief. Don’t know where to start? Message me for any tips or guidance!