Life is hectic. We have more to do than ever, less time to do it and the mounting pressures of everyday life to contend with. With everything else we have to cram into our daily schedule, exercise doesn’t always come top of the priority list! Though, exercise also happens to be a great reliever of stress.
So, as November 5th marks the start of National Stress Awareness Week, we take a look at the impact of exercise as a stress reliever, and how making time for a little activity can make way for a lot less stress…
The body likes to move. Trust us, it’s what keeps it performing at it’s best! Being active increases blood flow around the body, including the flow to the brain. By getting in plenty of regular exercise, this blood flow prevents the body from getting sluggish, giving us better focus, concentration and positive thoughts.
Social Stress Relief
Working out with others not only helps you to feel part of a community, but also helps you to feel more motivated, and perform better.
The feel-good hormones that come from working out with friends act as natural stress relievers, whilst the excitement of hitting your goals together will only boost the rush further.
A Dose of D
Getting your daily regime done in the great outdoors not only lifts the mood by ensuring you get plenty of fresh air, but it also encourages the body to produce vitamin D when exposed to the bright sunlight. Plenty of vitamin D makes us feel happier, more alert and sparks the positivity signals in our brains.
Soothe The Soreness
Aches and pains caused by hunching over a desk all day can bring on a little crankiness. Throw in harsh office strip lighting and air conditioned workspaces, and the body has every reason to feel a little tense!
Exercise will help to stretch out those muscles that have been contorted up over that computer all day, and give the body a boost of energy, in turn, making you feel more alert.
A Spot Of Me Time
Sometimes, we all need a little space to reflect on the day and relieve our own stresses. Exercising alone is a great way to get some quiet time, assess where the stresses stem from, and how best to tackle them! If you need a little help putting a plan in place, speak to our personal training team about creating a realistic exercise plan you can crack on with solo.
The Endorphin Effect
Exercise encourages the body to release the happy hormones, endorphins. The more often you exercise, the longer the effects last. Commit to a weekly fitness class to ensure you get your hit of happiness regularly.
Cut The Cortisol
Similarly, regular workouts will help to lower the amounts of stress hormones, Cortisol and Adrenalin within the body, making you feel more relaxed.
Feeling the heat? Rather than reach for a strong coffee, a post-work drink, or seek medication to help us deal with stress, exercise is not only one of the most powerful solutions, it’s the most natural and sustainable.
It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you're doing. Take a run, accompanied by your favourite playlist (a few tips on that here). Tackle a group fitness class with friends, or take to the great outdoors... it all counts towards the feel good factor!
For those with friends who claim they are ‘too stressed’ to exercise, you may wish to share this with them!