It cannot be stated strongly enough that physical activity is a great stress reliever. Exercise plays a key role in reducing and preventing the effects of stress. But you don’t have to be an athlete or spend hours in a gym to experience the benefits. Just about any form of physical activity can work as a stress reliever. Exercise can burn away anger, tension, and frustration. Exercise releases endorphins that boost your mood and make you feel good. And it can serve as a valuable time out from your daily cares.
Aerobic exercise, in particular, can be one of the most effective approaches for dealing with stress. It can improve your cardiovascular system and decrease your anxiety level. Experts recommend that the aerobic part of your exercise be at least 15 minutes and, depending on your age, be done with at least a day’s rest between any two of the same routines to let your body recuperate. For optimal benefits, you should exercise at least three days a week in order to improve not only your health, but also your mental outlook.
Stretching and strength activities are also necessary for a healthy body. Yoga, weight training, and Tai Chi are excellent exercises in this regard. As with any such activity, ALWAYS start slowly and increase your duration and/or speed in small increments. Give your body time to recover, and start AFTER consulting a medical doctor.
Any increase in aerobic activity will increase the flow of nutritious blood to your brain, which all neuroscientists agree is a good thing. It should also be noted that individuals who are more physically fit experience fewer health troubles. They are also less likely to suffer from psychological problems such as depression, binge eating, insomnia, or other similar type challenges. Without exercise, you are increasing the likelihood that you will be afflicted with colds, flu, or other medical problems.
Implement This Stress Reliever Today
If you find it difficult to become motivated to start exercising, there are a number of steps you can take.
- You can go to a gym. Knowing that you’ll have to pay dues to a gym may make it more likely that you will actually exercise.
- You could join an exercise class at a community center where you’ll meet other people who are in a similar position. The camaraderie that develops between exercisers can help reduce stress levels.
- You might consider hiring a personal trainer. A trainer can provide powerful motivation, pushing you to complete exercises you never thought possible.
- Another approach is to exercise in front of a television set using a DVD, following the instructor’s directions as you do the exercises. These programs are available for all age groups.
Exercise will make you feel less anxious. Your mood will improve, enabling you to deal more effectively with stress. Exercise can also improve your self-image. You will experience greater self-worth and more confidence, which, in turn, will reduce your stress levels. A confident person knows how to handle stress without becoming flustered. As a result of exercise, you may also end up eating more healthfully. Your improved menu may also prove to be a stress reliever.
My new book, Live Without Stress: How to Enjoy the Journey, is now available as a Kindle book. This book will show how to use some simple strategies to significantly reduce your stress, promote responsibility, increase your effectiveness, improve your relationships, and truly enjoy life’s experiences.