We all know that our bodies can benefit from a few minutes of exercise each day. However, have you ever put some serious thought into what exercise may do for your mental health. There are many exercises that may help you take control of stress, reduce symptoms related to stress illness, and improve health. As you know, there are many physical advantages of exercise that reduce obesity, reduces the danger of coronary disease, and increases the longevity of life. But did you know that exercise is a good way to reduce stress? Stress relief exercises release the pent up energy that the stress response may create. With a few forms of exercise, you can release your body’s feel-good chemicals, increasing your happiness levels.
How Does Exercise Reduce Stress?
Depending upon the different stress relief exercises that you do, exercise reduces stress in several different ways. Here are a few of the ways exercise can reduce your stress.
Exercise relaxes muscles.
Have you ever felt uptight when stressed? Well, A typical symptom of stress is muscle tension. When stressed your body tenses up in planning for fight or flight. Exercise might help the muscles to use the pent up energy and is most effective in releasing muscle tension before it can result in muscle pain or spasms.
Utilizes the stress hormones.
Numerous hormones are secreted into the bloodstream when stressed. These hormones, if not used up, might lead to emotions of irritability, increased vigilance, and may eventually lead to a number of related to stress illnesses. Exercising can assist you to use some of the stress hormones that may accumulate within the body in response to stress.
Exercise burns fat and cholesterol.
When stressed your body requires fuel to fight or flee from the origin of stress. This implies that the liver is working to convert glycogen to glucose. At the same time, the liver’s cholesterol production increases. Exercise can help to remove this excess cholesterol.
Exercise gives you a sense of happiness.
Exercise also releases endorphins into the body, which gives your body a natural boost. Endorphins are natural painkillers that give you a sense of happiness and positive well being. They usually peak about one hour after exercise.
Exercise can reduce pent up frustration.
Stress might lead to higher levels of pent up frustration. This, in turn, can aggravate panic of phobic tendencies. Exercise can work as a way to help release this pent up frustration.
Exercise may take your mind off your problems.
Exercise might be a good way to help take your mind off your problems. How frequently have you been stressed following a hard day’s work or worry about paying a bill, only to have all of it wash away as you take in a change of scene, kicking a ball, or running in a park?
Exercise can make you look and feel better.
Exercise tones up your muscles reduce weight and improve your health. This could make you feel better and look better leaving you with improved self-esteem and more confidence.
How Much Exercise Do I Need?
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), you should get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. It is suggested to break down your work out routines into 30-minute sessions over a course of 5 days. However, if you are like me, you may have trouble fitting a full 30-minute session and find fitting two 15 minute sessions into your day easier.
AMA also recommends that you get at least two sessions of some form of muscle training incorporated into your week. These sessions should include working out all your muscle groups and core strengthening.
In the beginning, you may find it difficult to get in a full session. Gradually work your way up to an activity level that fits your needs.
Note: If you have health conditions, are new to exercising, or out of shape, be sure to consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program. Your doctor will be to help you develop a proper routine specific to your activity level and health conditions.
What Exercises Are Best for Reducing Stress?
Generally speaking, any form of physical activity that gets you sweating and increases your heart rate is a form of exercise. However, not all forms of exercise are as helpful as others at reducing stress.
The exercises that work best for stress are ones that encourage your mind and body to work together. Here is a list of a few bodies capable of doing just that.
Walking is one of the easiest exercises you can choose and there and many health benefits of walking. I mean all it takes is you and your walking shoes. Plus, you get to get out in the fresh air and enjoy nature. All the benefits of a physical exercise without any cost, no wonder I feel less stressed afterward.
Let’s face it, yoga is a great form of exercise and it has no age restriction. With the strength training, you get from the different postures to the relaxation you receive fro the deep breathing techniques, it is no wonder yoga reduces stress.
Tai-chi is another great physical activity that, like yoga, can be performed by all ages. The difference with tai-chi and yoga is there is more movement involved with tai-chi. Tai-chi links breathing with physical movement and breathing. It helps increase flexibility and give you energy which in return improves your sense of well-being.
With gardening, you get three benefits in one. You get the benefit of a great low impact workout that lets you burn calories plus you get the bonus of contact with nature which is a spirit lifter. Once your garden has matured you reap the benefits of consuming healthy and nutritious fruits and vegetables.
One of the best things about dancing is the mental improvement benefits you can gain from learning steps. Did you know that researchers have found that those who study ballroom dancing twice a week were at less risk of developing dementia?
You can use dancing as not only a way to improve our mood, increase your heart rate, burn a tremendous amount of calories, and reduce stress, but you can use it as a way to improve your memory. Isn’t that amazing?
Regular exercise is not only a great way to keep your body in shape, but it is also a great way to improve your mood, burn some fat, relieve some muscle tension, and reduce some stress. By incorporating a few minutes of physical activity into your day a few days a week you will be doing wonders for your overall health.
It may take some time to find which exercise is right for you but once you do you will enjoy the benefits you get from sticking with it.