Stress is a natural part of daily life. How we deal with stress can be a basis for our happiness and our quality of life. Exercise has been known to be a great stress relief.
In a scientific and physiological sense exercise has a number of benefits.
- Improves blood flow
- Improves oxygen intake
- Increases production of endorphins- feel good transmitter
- Can have same effects of meditation
- Takes mind off of daily tasks and worries
- Relieves tension, anger, anxiety and mild depression
- Improves quality of sleep
By improving blood flow and oxygen intake exercise improves brain function and the better the brain functions the better the brain is able to deal with stress. Exercise also increases the production of endorphins which is a neurotransmitter that improves your mood. Exercise can also have the same effects as meditation because while you are exercise you are focusing on a single task or particular exercise. Focusing on just one task leads to calmness and mental clarity which will reduce stress as you are not thinking about daily tasks and worries. Exercise also relieves tension, anger, anxiety and mild depression while also improving your quality of sleep.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA) it is recommended that an individual gets at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week. This can be split up into 30-minute exercise sessions five days a week. These 30 minute sessions can also be split up into three 10 minute sessions as well. If you are new to being physically active gradually build up your physical activity level.
Some different types of exercise are listed below:
- Brisk walking or jogging
- Swimming or doing water aerobics
- Playing tennis or racquetball
- Weightlifting and Strength Training
Weightlifting can be an optimal way to relieve stress but it does take some technical skill and basic knowledge to do safely and effectively. Anyone can strength train, young, old, men, women but it does require a balanced and progressive program to reap the rewards of your efforts. Hiring a trainer or a coach is a great way to get started or if you have already started and aren't satisfied with your results. Here is where we highlight how a coach can help you!