Stress can be an unavoidable part of life. It could be caused by work, family, relationships, or other life events, and in today’s busy world, it’s often hard to find time for yourself. But did you know that exercise and stress management can go hand in hand? Exercise can be great way to take some time out from the hustle and bustle of life while improving mental health and wellbeing.
The power of exercise in relieving stress
So, why is exercise good for stress? Regular exercise can help to improve our overall health by reducing fatigue, improving moods, and increasing energy levels. It also aids in weight management and could help reduce self-consciousness or anxiety around body image.
Exercise can not only boost our well-being by relieving stress but also helps reduce risk factors for developing serious conditions such as depression and anxiety. In addition, studies have shown that exercise helps to increase endorphin levels,(1) which are responsible for improving moods and creating feelings of wellbeing.
The benefits of exercise in reducing stress
Stress relief exercises have multiple benefits when it comes to managing stress. These are what experts say about exercise and stress: (2)
Exercise can help to refocus your thinking and may help to clear your mind of negative thoughts. Stress-relieving exercises can also help you talk to yourself in a more positive way and find better ways to deal with problems, which gives you more control over the situation.
Exercising releases endorphins that create feelings of happiness, relaxation, and improved self-esteem. Regular exercise could help reduce cortisol levels—the hormone released when under stress—and helps coping better with challenging situations.
Regular exercise may increase confidence levels, making it easier to confront challenging situations with a sense of control and self-assurance.
Helps Manage Stressful Situations
Exercise helps to increase your physical and mental stamina so that when faced with stressful situations, you’ll have the strength to cope better. Additionally, it improves problem-solving skills and increases resilience, making it easier to cope with stressors.
Finding time for exercise
For all these reasons, it’s essential to make time for exercise to help reduce stress as part of your management toolbox. However, it doesn’t need to be a big commitment—even 10-15minutes walk each day could make a big difference. So, take the opportunity to find time for yourself and get active!
Stress Management Exercises
These are the primary stress management exercises that physiology experts suggest:(3)
- Cardiovascular exercise – this stress reduction exercise can help flush out your stress hormones and improves circulation. Examples include walking, jogging, cycling and swimming.
- Strength training– strength training can be a great way to release tension in the body and target any areas that may be holding onto stress. Examples include yoga, weight training or Pilates.
- Mind-body activities – these exercises combine with relaxation or mindfulness techniques. Examples of exercise for mental stress include tai chi, qigong and meditation.
- Fun and Recreational activities – These can be a great way to relieve stress and be fun. Examples include dance classes, hiking or playing sports.
Rebuilding your well-being with the help of an Exercise Physiologist
An exercise physiologist can help create a tailored program that considers your fitness levels and lifestyle. The aim is to gradually build up physical activity and provide support and guidance throughout the process. You may also be referred for other services, such as nutrition or mental health.
It’s important to remember that everyone is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. That’s why an Exercise Physiologist can help you find the right program that works best for you and your needs.
So, if you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, you might be pleased to know that exercise can decrease stress levels in many ways, so don’t be afraid to reach out and get help. The proper exercise and stress program could help you build strength and resilience to manage life’s stressors effectively.
Remember: exercise can be a great way to take care of your mental health and wellbeing, while also helping to reduce stress. So why try an exercise program in Melton today? At Healthstin, we can help develop a personalised exercise plan to meet individual needs and goals. Therefore, if you or someone you know is struggling with a chronic health condition, it is time to take control and schedule an appointment with an Exercise Physiologist. You can reach us via phone at 1300 090 931 or visit our page to learn more.
Disclaimer: The information is general and does not take into account your personal situation. This information is intended to show you the correct exercise technique and should not be used to self-diagnose or self-treat any medical condition. If your pain persists or you have difficulty performing exercise, see your experienced Exercise Physiologist for proper guidance on 1300 090 931.
1 Harber VJ, Sutton JR. Endorphins and exercise. Sports Med. 1984 Mar-Apr;1(2):154-71. doi: 10.2165/00007256-198401020-00004. PMID: 6091217. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6091217/
2 Stults-Kolehmainen MA, Sinha R. The effects of stress on physical activity and exercise. Sports Med. 2014 Jan;44(1):81-121. doi: 10.1007/s40279-013-0090-5. PMID: 24030837; PMCID: PMC3894304. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3894304/
3 Jackson, Erica M. Ph.D., FACSM. STRESS RELIEF: The Role of Exercise in Stress Management. ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal 17(3):p 14-19, May/June 2013. | DOI: 10.1249/FIT.0b013e31828cb1c9 https://journals.lww.com/acsm-healthfitness/fulltext/2013/05000/stress_relief__the_role_of_exercise_in_stress.6.aspx