How Exercise Helps with Stress Management
Exercise can help you get the killer body you’ve always wanted, but exercise also provides numerous benefits for overall health and well-being. In addition to weight loss, exercise offers tremendous stress-reduction benefits as you boost your energy levels, build resilience, and increase your strength – both physically and mentally.
Exercise Helps You Sleep Better
Sleep is one of the most important things your body needs; without it you will feel drained and have difficulty focusing on important tasks during the day. Eight hours is recommended for optimum health for most people, and exercise can help you get those eight hours of quality slumber easily.
If you have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep through the night, exercise could well be the answer to your struggles. Not only does exercise tire you out so that getting to sleep becomes easier, it also releases feel-good endorphins that help to reduce stress, allowing you to put all those little things that worry you to rest for the night.
Don’t exercise too close to bedtime, however, as this could have the opposite effect due to the increased alertness most people feel right after getting their heart pumping and blood flowing with a vigorous workout.
Take Your Dog for a Walk for Exercise and Companionship in One
If you have a pet pooch, exercise can do wonders for strengthening your bond with each other. Dogs need plenty of exercise and as the parent to your beloved four-legged friend, that means you’ll be getting exercise too as you spend time walking or playing with your dog. Taking your dog for daily walks is good for your cardiovascular health and also works to improve muscle tone in your legs and buttocks.
Many people underestimate walking as an effective form of exercise because we naturally do it every day, but it’s actually one of the best and most popular ways to get the recommended levels of daily physical activity. Exercise with your dog is beneficial for both of you; your dog will be thrilled to be spending some quality time with you, and you’ll be giving your body a workout, often without even realizing it. What’s more, the health benefits of dog ownership extend far beyond getting more physical activity, including stress reduction, socialization, and more.
Exercise Takes Your Mind Off of Your Worries
Many people work out to keep themselves busy and to take their mind off of any problems that they might be having. Exercise requires extreme focus, and this is a great way to keep your mind occupied with more positive thoughts.
In addition to actually keeping you busy, the hormones released during exercise will boost your mood which can give you a more positive perspective on those daily worries. Putting in an exercise DVD to keep your mind busy is a much healthier choice than reaching for a pack of rich chocolate cookies (tempting as they are) and will have a much more positive effect on your waistline.
Hone Your Body’s Systems to Function Efficiently
Exercise helps your body function at its best in many areas, which enables your body to better cope with stressful situations. Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter in the brain that responds to stress in a positive way, and regular exercise causes your brain to release norepinephrine.
Overall, exercise helps to balance the levels of various neurotransmitters in the brain, making you happier and sharpening your mind. If you do get stressed easily, then starting a regular exercise routine can be highly effective for tackling your stress in a natural way that provides whole-body benefits.
Exercise Can Alleviate Symptoms of ADHD and Other Mental Health Conditions
ADHD is something that is affecting more and more people, but exercise (especially swimming) can have a calming effect on those who suffer from the disorder. Cognitive performance and the functions of the brain are proven to improve when exercise is put into the equation, which is why exercise can be perfect for those who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Exercise such as swimming will burn some of the extreme energy levels many people with ADHD experience and will also help to increase their attention span. In addition to ADHD, exercise can help people suffering from other mental health conditions including depression and anxiety by boosting those feel-good hormones.
Not sure your new regimen is working? SweetBeat HRV has a stress monitor that can help you track your progress. It can help you identify which activities are effectively lowering your stress as well as the times of day they might be most beneficial. For example if the monitor shows that your stress tends to be highest after first waking and walks seem to help, a morning stroll with Fido could be the best way to start your day.
From managing your stress to helping you sleep better and keeping your mind focused on the positive, it’s pretty astounding what exercising can do for your overall well-being. The potential to reap so many benefits from even just 30 to 60 minutes each day should convince anyone that exercise should become an important part of their daily routine.
Jennifer McGregor has wanted to be a doctor since she was little. Now, as a pre-med student, she’s well on her way to achieving that dream. She helped create PublicHealthLibrary.org with a friend as part of a class project. With it, she hopes to provide access to trustworthy health and medical resources. When Jennifer isn’t working on the site, you can usually find her hitting the books in the campus library or spending some downtime with her dog at the local park.