Exercise is recommended for everyone and with good reason: exercise not only keeps the body fit and toned, it also does wonders for your health and lowering your levels of stress. It’s no wonder that doctors advise people with chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity to exercise regularly in order to manage their conditions. You may reason that you’re too busy to squeeze in exercise in your daily routine, but with some reorganization you’ll surely be able to manage 15 to 20 minutes of exercise in your day.
Stress is a situation that we will regularly find ourselves in, especially in our fast paced world. As long as we live, there will be some sort of stress in our lives. It’s how we handle stress that will ultimately matter and exercise can help in a big way to alleviate stress. Here are some ways how exercise lowers our stress levels:
- It gives you a rush of endorphins. You’re probably familiar with the term “runner’s high” which speaks about how runners experience a certain feeling of well being after completing a long run. This is because of the rush of endorphins or the body’s hormone that relieves pain and busts stress. Endorphins can also be released after hiking, brisk walking and a good game of badminton or tennis and other equally brisk activities.
- It’s like meditating but you’re moving. Meditation can help us relax and lower our stress levels, but we are usually familiar with meditation being done sitting down or lying on your back. When you are doing sports, your focus is usually only on the sport that you’re playing and this is a sort of meditation. Likewise, exercises in the form of yoga and tai chi are also traditionally considered meditation.
- Exercising can do wonders to improve your mood. Anxiety and mild depression are something that you might have already experienced. The good news is that these conditions can be addressed by exercise, which helps boost your confidence. And because exercise boosts your level of endorphins, your mood is instantly lifted after exercise keeping stress at bay.
If you’re new to exercising, congratulations on taking the crucial step to a healthier you! Before you begin, take note of the following advice:
- Always consult with your doctor about the exercise routines you had in mind. This is especially true if you have lived a life of relative inactivity, are obese, or are suffering from certain conditions. It is better to always be on the safe side when it comes to exercising.
- Start out with what your body is capable of. It might be exciting to think about doing exercise, but remember that your body would probably not be conditioned for extreme physical activity so stick to light jogging or brisk walking. Do not run a marathon the first week of your exercise! Pushing your body past what it’s conditioned to do may lead to injuries.
- Pick an exercise that you like doing. Don’t force yourself to take up tennis if you hate tennis. Being disinterested in an exercise might lead you to not following through with your fitness regimen.
- Set fitness goals. You might want to lose a few pounds a month or lose 2 inches off your waistline in a month. It is always a good motivator to have fitness goals.
- Exercise with a friend. Having a friend with you when exercising means that you have someone to have conversation with as well as someone to motivate you for when you may feel like giving up or are having a particularly lazy day.