Exercise For Stress Reduction
One of the most effective natural approaches to stress
management is exercise. Regular exercise or physical activity
is a great stress reliever and is important to overall health
and well being.
Stress can lead to many health problems as well as just a
general unhealthy feeling. Stress can be felt physically,
emotionally and psychologically and affect all aspects of life.
Exercise can help to manage stress in a variety of ways. The
negative aspects of stress are a result of the byproducts of
the stress response circulating in the body and the change in
Regular exercise is useful in removing the byproducts of the
stress response by providing the opportunity to simulate the
fighting or running set in by the fight or flight experience.
In todays times most of the threat is actually perceived and
our bodies are usually not in immediate danger so the physical
response that the body is preparing for is not necessary.
In physical terms exercise helps to release or let go of
negative feelings and expel pent up energy such as anger, or
irritability. During stress the muscles contract since they are
bracing for activity and are not in a resting state, this
causes loss of muscle tone. Physical activity allows the
muscles to work and release the stored energy.
It helps to relieve symptoms of stress that also
precipitates further stress such as tension headaches, neck and
back pain, inability to sleep or fatigue. Exercise also
improves cardiovascular function. Physical activity is socially
acceptable and often encouraged.
Certain forms of exercise such as jogging, bicycling,
hiking, cross country skiing require a fairly consistent
repetitive motion that can alter one's state of consciousness
similar to that of meditation. Physiological responses take
place such as better breathing which can help bring a feeling
Today's Stress Cure Fact
Workplace StressThe human body can adequately experience stress and react to it. Stress can be a positive thing, however too much stress or prolonged stress has negative effects on the body. Acute stress is the body's reaction to an immediate threat, whether it be real or perceived. This reaction is often referred to as the fight or flight response. Stressors such as physical or emotional trauma, or environmental factors such as noise, light and crowds can cause acute stress. These and other stressors activate the part of the brain called the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis. This triggers the production and release of steroid hormones, particularly the primary stress hormone cortisol. coping with stress
Regular exercise not only keeps the body in shape and
healthy on the inside but usually improves physical appearance
as well which helps to boost self esteem and keep a positive
attitude which in turn is another form of stress management.
The feeling of self-fulfillment one can get from exercise
because they feel like they have achieved something also helps
to reduce tension and help to prepare you to be able to face
the next set of stressors or stressful event. Some find that
group activities or team sports are more beneficial.
Others find that solitary exercises benefit them more. This
is one of the reasons that exercise is so great for stress
management because there are so many options available. It will
only be most beneficial if you choose something that you enjoy
doing. Some people like to play golf and find it relaxing
others may find it stressful.
Take a hike, well you don't
have to go that far, a 20 minute walk each day
would be good. Work it into your schedule
whenever you find you have some
Any time you have during the day is good, or
whenever you feel the stress building up inside
you, get out and talk a walk to clear your
Some people like to run while others do not. Another great
thing about exercise and how it is effectual in stress
management is that when you are participating in a sport or
performing a physical activity you are not worrying or thinking
about all of the stressors in your life.