You religiously set the alarm early for your morning jog but end up hitting the snooze button. As the day passes, your stress grows. But did you know that avoiding that snooze button and getting your exercise fix could help you avoid stress? And all the health issues that stress can bring?
Many studies have established that people who exercise regularly are happier and report lower rates of depression. According to experts at Yale Stress Center, the rise in the heart rate from exercise can actually reverse the damage to the brain caused by stressful events!
We give you 7 ways that exercise can help manage day-to-day stress.
It boosts your mood
Studies show that exercise reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, adrenaline, and cortisol, and stimulates the production of endorphins, the body’s “feel-good” neurotransmitters. Endorphins are natural painkillers and mood elevators which can help you deal with stress better. So put on those running shoes and get out!
It improves memory and learning
Tend to forget things when under stress? Well, there is a reason for it. Stress weakens the brain, especially the hippocampus, which is responsible for memory among other things. Exercising promotes the production of neurohormones such as norepinephrine, which are associated with improved cognitive function and learning.
It helps the body communicate better
According to the American Psychological Association, exercise forces the body’s physiological systems to communicate much more closely than usual. These systems are involved in stress response such as with the cardiovascular or muscular system. Better harmony between the body’s systems means better stress management.It helps you sleep better
Lack of sleep makes us more irritable and leads to higher stress and anxiety during the day. Exercise can be helpful there as it breaks the cycle – a good workout can make you sleep better than a glass of warm milk.
It improves self-esteem significantly
How often does your expanding waistline leave you frantic and stressed? Yes, we thought so. Exercise has emotional benefits too. As the inches from the waist begin to disappear and your strength and stamina increase, so does your self-image. The renewed sense of self will reduce the stress and you will feel so much better!
It helps you socialise
Exercise allows you to be social – at the gym, on a trek, in a yoga class – and this can be great for stress reduction. Numerous studies have proven that socialising is good for one’s self-esteem and increasing the quality of life. Find a great circle of friends, make exercise a group effort and see how your body and mind cheers up!
It helps your organise your life better
Following a workout plan or an exercise routine helps you with setting goals and following a set routine. You can bring the same learning to your work and home life. Half the stress will disappear in a jiffy!
So whether it’s group exercise or a solo session, get started now!