Keep Calm and Exercise – Today, it seems like most everyone needs help managing ever-present stress. We’re connected 24/7, overscheduled, multitasking to the max, poorly nourished and chronically exhausted.
Exercise is actually a great way to manage stress, as it helps your body process all that extra adrenaline and cortisol – hormones that contribute to that overwhelmed, anxious feeling. Although you may feel like finding time to exercise simply will give you more stress, know that workouts don’t all have to be lengthy to be effective. Even short sessions help diffuse tension and deliver more energy.
By strengthening the body through regular exercise, you are better able to cope with the onslaught of daily pressures and demands, both physical and mental. Even just moving the muscles helps rid them of stored tension, heavier breathing enhances oxygen flow to the brain and stimulating blood flow is rejuvenating.
Exercise also gives your mind and body a temporary break and a chance to focus on taking care of yourself, which definitely pays long-term dividends. And those who exercise regularly tend to sleep better, which equips them with greater energy, endurance and wherewithal to handle everyday aggravations…
As for what kind of workouts are best at managing stress? This is really a matter of preference, as both cardio and strength training have been shown to be effective. And mind-body routines like yoga obviously deliver calm, along with strength, flexibility and balance benefits. Cross training by incorporating several different activities and modalities, is ideal to keep the body responsive and the mind motivated and engaged.
Since stress is impossible to avoid, it is important to let it out often and not let it build up, which can have negative consequences on behavior and physical and mental health. Exercise is an ideal outlet with many valuable results.