Everyone experiences stress.
Whether work related, family life, school, or something else, we are often told that stress is a normal part of life. And it is, to a certain extent, although too much stress is never a good thing.
Seven out of ten Americans adults report experiencing high levels of stress every day, and more people are reporting negative physical responses to stress than ever before.
Sometimes stress acts as the motivation that you need to finish a task for work or school, and it can give you the extra push that you need to succeed. When experienced in the right amounts, stress can even improve memory and has other health implications.
BUT WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THAT CONSTANT LEVEL OF STRESS SUDDENLY GOES FROM MANAGEABLE TO MAKING YOU INCAPABLE OF FUNCTIONING?
You begin to feel as if you’ll never feel relaxed ever again, and you may not even remember what it feels like to have a functional life with normal worries. So how can you relieve the unwanted pressure and better manage your stress?
Most people will give you a list of practices that include a compilation of the following suggestions: improve sleep and diet, meditate, participate in breathing exercises, listen to soothing music, try some natural remedies, and others. However, while each of these methods might help in stress relief, there is a more effective strategy that we offer.
Here’s our one-word suggestion: Exercise.
It seems as if there is no end to the benefits that come from working out. On top of improving health and assisting with weight loss, regular exercise can increase energy, and improve memory, relaxation, and sleep!
When you are stressed, the body increases the amount of stress hormones released. One of these hormones, called cortisol, is what triggers the brain and body to go into ‘survival mode.’
There are a lot of changes that occur very quickly when the brain goes into this mode. First, the body adjusts blood sugar, metabolism, immune response and even more in order to best prepare you for ‘fight or flight.’
Then, everything in the body begins to run faster, which can be damaging to your body unless you are in an actual life-threatening situation.
Here’s one of the major ways that working out can relieve stress. Cortisol is also released when you exercise and put physical stress on the body. Your body only produces a limited supply of cortisol at any given time, so the more cortisol is released when you’re working out, the less it can release when you’re under pressure at work, school, or home.
The more frequently you exercise, the more the body grows accustomed to managing hormone levels and dealing with stress.
Another major aspect of working out as stress management tactic has everything to do with endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s natural painkillers or ‘feel good’ hormones that are released when you work out, creating the sensation that is commonly referred to as a “runner’s high,” or feeling of elation that you experience after you finish a workout, run, or physical activity.
Working out also engages the mind, forcing you to concentrate deeply on the task at hand instead of getting distracted by worries or stressors.
Concentrating on your movement also allows you to feel more calm, gain increased clarity, and have an improved mood.
Proper form when exercising requires you to focus on your breathing and time yourself with a sense of rhythm, which is another aspect of working out that will assist you to better manage your stress.
So whether it’s yoga, weight lifting, running or playing sports, engaging in frequent physical activity greatly improves your ability to handle stress.
The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.