Does Exercise Reduce Stress?
It’s no surprise that most of us will have to tackle stress at some point in our lives – whether it’s our work, relationships, financial worries, or expectations. Stress is a silent killer – it can lead to more serious illnesses like depression, anxiety, heart disease, obesity, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, and many more. But there are also many ways to help battle stress and reduce it before it becomes unmanageable – one of these is to get physically active and start exercising.
Hormones are release during exercise, and seratonin and endorphins help balance out the negative hormones such as cortisol which are released during stress. They also act as natural pain killers, and help increase your mood for a more positive mindset. But it’s not just the hormones which help tackle stress during exercise – when you’re following your instructor or focussing on a routine, your mind is occupied by thoughts of following patterns instead of your daily worries; your body is using up energy which means you’ll get a better nights sleep and we all know sleep plays an important part in our well being.
Fancy giving it a go? Here are just some ways you can start getting more active today!
Walking: Going for long walks in the countryside is great for both your physical and mental wellbeing. Whether it’s a hike on the hills, or a stroll by the riverside the fresh air will keep you healthy and the light physical exercise will keep stress at bay.
Sign up to fitness classes: Not only will fitness classes benefit your physical health, it’s a great place to meet new people, or socialise with friends. Fitness classes range from more intense sessions like HIIT, to more relaxed classes like PureStretch. You can always talk to your local fitness instructor about your needs and they will help tailor a program to suit you!
Get a dog: If it’s something you’ve been thinking of for a while, and are in a position to do so, then dogs are a great companion to help get active and reduce stress. You will have to take them for walks, train them, socialise them all of which will get your out of the house. Visit Dogs Trust to start your journey to finding your ideal companion.
Stand up at work: Most of us will sit down for the majority of the day but you can take small steps to get active at work: stand up when at your desk; instead of emailing or calling go and visit the colleague you want to speak to; offer to be the one to make a round of coffees/teas.