We’ve just come through tax time. That can certainly be a stressful period. And regardless of the cause, who doesn’t feel like they could use at least a little stress reduction? We all know that besides being unpleasant, stress can be harmful to both the body and mind.
Stress can often cause:
- High blood pressure
- Chest pain or a “heart racing” feeling
- Exhaustion or trouble sleeping
- Headaches, dizziness or shaking
- Muscle tension
- Digestive problems
- Sexual dysfunction
- Weakened immune system
- Anxiety or irritability
- Panic attacks
In an article published by the Mayo Clinic Staff, it is stated that:
Stress symptoms may be affecting your health, even though you might not realize it. You may think illness is to blame for that irritating headache, your frequent insomnia or your decreased productivity at work. But stress may actually be the cause.
It is crucial, therefore, to try to relieve stress in order to minimize any or all of the harmful effects listed above.
What’s the most effective way to reduce stress?
The number one recommendation from the Mayo Clinic is: “Get Active”.
The first item of guidance from the CDC is: “Be Active”.
And the piece of advice from the American Heart Association that is listed first is that we should be: “Exercising Regularly”.
I think I’m sensing a pattern…
The American Heart Association’s full recommendation reads:
Engage in physical activity regularly. Do what you enjoy — walk, swim, ride a bike or do yoga. Letting go of the tension in your body will help you feel a lot better. Try to do at least one thing every day that you enjoy, even if you only do it for 15 minutes.
In previous blogs, we’ve discussed the beneficial effects of exercise in relation to calorie burning/weight management and muscle toning/strengthening. But when it comes to stress relief, the Mayo Clinic further states that:
Being physically active releases those feel-good endorphins, dopamine, and promotes the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) that can enhance your sense of well-being and reduce stress.
The Physiological Effects of Exercise
Yes, it just feels good to get your body moving, for the objective physiological reasons of the release of the therapeutic hormones listed. Those endorphins are responsible for what is sometimes called the “runner’s high”. It’s a feeling of euphoria associated with cardiovascular exercise like running on your treadmill. When you work out, you reach a tipping point and, suddenly, all those stresses melt away. Afterward, the feel-good state continues as the euphoria kicks in. But you don’t need to work out intensely to release those endorphins. Even moderate exercise performed for 20-30 minutes can produce that valuable effect.
The Psychological Effects of Exercise
In addition, a good workout is also a psychological boost. When you’re done, you’ll know you’ve accomplished something useful for your body and mind. Exercise has even been shown to help with relaxation, the ability to fall asleep quickly and getting a better night’s rest – all important factors in stress relief.
We’re here to help. Contact the certified professionals at Premier Fitness Source and we will be happy to discuss your exercise needs and how we can facilitate your personal journey toward reduced stress. We have the right equipment for anyone’s fitness needs, from a low-impact bike for someone just getting started to the most advanced brands for the committed enthusiast.
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