Stress Awareness Tip #2

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Virtually any exercise can be a fantastic stress reliever! With so many different ways and kinds of exercise, there is something for everyone depending on what you like to do. Before starting any exercise plan make sure to consult your doctor. The benefits of exercise are numerous especially when looking at how exercise helps with stress. Here are just a few:

  • An increase in production of endorphins, the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters
  • It allows us to focus on the present moment and forget about what has been bothering us
  • Regular exercise can increase self-confidence
  • Improve sleep
  • Symptom reduction associated with anxiety and mild depression
  • Helps the body systems practice interacting in a healthy way

From running to swimming to tennis to hockey to hiking to any other form of exercise there are so many options. There really is something for everyone. When beginning exercise start out slow. Your body needs time to adapt and strengthen. Prevent injury before it happens. When picking an exercise type, it can be helpful to adapt the exercise to the type of stress. If you are feeling angry maybe look at the martial arts. If you are feeling out of control maybe look at something rhythmic like running or swimming or even yoga for focus. A few other quick things to help you get started. Make exercise a priority since it can help prevent stress and also help relieve stress. A simple way to do that is to block it off on your calendar. Even 10 minutes is better than 0 minutes. If you are a social person, make a commitment with a friend so that you have company but also someone you don’t want to let down. Finally, physics gives us good advice. An object at rest stays at rest. An object in motion stays in motion. Once you start your body will want to stay in motion.

Be proud of yourself for starting and/or continuing. Celebrate your success! I look forward to seeing you all out there!

References and Further Reading:

Mayo Clinic – Exercise and stress: Get moving to manage stress
Anxiety and Depression Assocation of America – Exercise for Stress and Anxiety
Harvard Health Publications – Exercising to Relax
Stress Management Society – Exercise
Active – 7 Ways Exercise Relieves Stress

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