The Top 10 Ways Exercise Can Reduce Stress
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People who exercise regularly will tell you they feel better. But why is that? Some would answer that it's because chemicals called neurotransmitters, produced in the brain, are stimulated during exercise. Since it's believed that neurotransmitters mediate our moods and emotions, it's logical to conclude that this stimulation can improve feelings and reduce stress.
While there's no scientific evidence to support the neurotransmitter theory conclusively, there is plenty to show that exercise provides stress-relieving benefits. And let's face it: We could all do with less stress in our lives.
Stress can leave you feeling drained, anxious, even depressed. Fortunately, exercise has been proved to help alleviate these and many other stress-related problems. So work out your worries with a workout, and sweat out that stress.
Stress can make you feel anxious, and studies show that people feel less jittery and hyperactive following exercise.
One exercise session generates 90 to 120 minutes of relaxation response. This post-exercise euphoria improves your mood and leaves you feeling relaxed.
Studies have shown that when large muscle groups repeatedly contract and relax, as in yoga, the brain receives a signal to release specific neurotransmitters, which in turn make you feel relaxed and more alert.
Think about those times when you've been physically active. Haven't you felt better about yourself? That feeling of self-worth contributes to stress relief.
Some researchers believe exercise can be more effective than medication for treating depression in some people.
Stress can make it difficult to get a good night's sleep, but studies show that people who exercise regularly sleep better than those who don't.
Stress can leave you tired and weary, but even a 10-minute walk can go a long way to upping your energy level. And the old adage is true — the more energy you use, the more you seem to have.
Vigorous activities such as indoor cycling and sports such as basketball are particularly effective.
People who exercise regularly tend to eat more nutritious food. And it's no secret that good nutrition helps your body manage stress better.
Whether you exercise alone or with a friend, it's important to take time for yourself during stressful periods.