Physical exercise to knock out stress

Exercise, in almost any form, can act as a stress reliever. Physical activity can boost your feel-good endorphins and distract you from everyday worries.

You know exercise is good for your body, but you’re too busy and stressed to incorporate it into your routine. Wait a second, there’s good news when it comes to exercise and stress. Virtually any form of exercise, from aerobics to yoga, can relieve stress. If you’re not an athlete or even if you’re out of shape, you can still make a little exercise go a long way in managing stress. Here’s the link between exercise and stress reduction and why exercise should be part of your stress management plan.

Exercise increases your overall health and sense of well-being -be. Which gives you more pep every day. But exercise also has direct beneficial effects on stress.

It increases your endorphins

Physical activity can help stimulate the production of feel-good neurotransmitters in the brain, called endorphins. Although this function is often called the runner’s “second wind”, any aerobic activity, such as a game of tennis or a hike in nature, can contribute to this same feeling.

it reduces the negative effects of stress

Exercise can provide relief to your body while mimicking the effects of stress, such as the flight or fight response, and helping your body and its systems practice working together through these effects. It can also have positive effects on your body. In particular on your cardiovascular, digestive and immune systems, helping you to protect your body from the harmful effects of stress.

It’s meditation in motion

After a game of tennis, a long walk or run, or several lengths in the pool, you will often find that you have forgotten the irritations of the day and have focused only on the movements of your body. When you begin to regularly release your daily stresses through movement and physical activity, you may find that this single-task focus, and the resulting energy and optimism, can help you stay calm, clear and focused in everything you do.

Exercise improves your mood

Regular activity can increase self-confidence, improve your mood, helping you relax and reducing symptoms of mild depression and anxiety. Exercise can also improve your sleep. It is well known that he is often disturbed by stress, depression and anxiety. All of these benefits of exercise can reduce your stress levels and make you feel in control of your body and your life.

Put exercise and stress reduction to work for you

A successful exercise program starts with a few simple steps.

Consult your doctor

If you haven’t exercised in a while or if you have any medical conditions, you can talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise program.

Walk before you run. Increase your fitness level gradually. The excitement of a new program can cause you to overdo it and even injure yourself.

For most healthy adults, it is recommended that you practice at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. Examples of moderate aerobic activity include brisk walking or swimming, and vigorous aerobic activity can include running or cycling. More exercise will provide even greater health benefits. Also, aim to do strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least twice a week.

Do what you love

Almost any form of exercise or movement can increase your level of fitness while decreasing your stress. The most important thing is to choose an activity that you enjoy. For example, walking, climbing stairs, jogging, dancing, biking, yoga, tai chi, karate, gardening, weight lifting and swimming.

And don’t forget that you don’t have to join a gym to be active. Take the dog for a walk, try strength exercises or watch a yoga video at home.

Book a time slot in your calendar now

In your schedule, you may need to do a morning workout one day and an evening activity the next. But setting aside time to move every day makes your exercise routine an ongoing priority. Try to include exercise in your schedule throughout the week.

Stick to your schedule

Starting an exercise program is only the first step. Here are some tips for maintaining a new routine or refreshing a tired workout:

Set SMART goals. Write down SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Temporary

If your main goal is to reduce stress in your life, your specific goals may include the commitment to walk during your hour lunch three times a week. Or, try online fitness videos at home. Or, if needed, find a babysitter to watch your children so you can slip away to attend a sports class.

Find a friend

Knowing that someone is waiting for you at the gym or the park can be a powerful motivator. Try to plan to meet friends for walks or workouts. Working out with a friend, colleague or family member often brings a new level of motivation and commitment to your workouts. And friends can make exercise more fun!

Change up your routine

If you’ve always been a competitive runner, consider other less competitive options that can help reduce your stress. Like Pilates or yoga classes. Plus, these gentler, more enjoyable exercises can improve your running while reducing your stress.

Exercise in small increments

Even brief periods of physical activity provide benefits. For example, if you can’t take a walk of 30 minutes, try a few walks of 10 minutes. Being active all day can have health benefits. Take a mid-morning or mid-afternoon break to move and stretch, go for a walk, or do squats or push-ups.

Interval training, which is in brief (60 to 90 seconds) bursts of intense activity to near full exertion, can be a safe, effective, and efficient way to achieve many of the benefits of longer duration exercise. The most important thing is to incorporate regular physical activity into your lifestyle.

Whatever you do, don’t consider exercise just another activity on your to-do list. Find an activity you enjoy. Whether it’s an active tennis match or a meditative out-and-back trip to a local park and make it part of your routine. Any form of physical activity can help you relax and become an important part of your approach to reducing stress.

Presse Santé strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the advice of a health professional.

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