Exercise to De-Stress
Virtually any form of exercise, from aerobics to dancing, to yoga, can act as a stress reliever. Even if you’re not an athlete or if you are out of shape, a little exercise can go a long way towards stress management. Being active can boost your feel-good endorphins and distract you from your daily worries. Despite knowing that exercise is good for their bodies, so many people still struggle to fit it into their daily routine. Discover the connection between exercise and stress relief and why exercising should be part of your stress management plan.
It pumps up your endorphins.
Physical activity helps bump up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Although this function is often referred to as a runner’s high, any aerobic activity, such as a rousing game of tennis or a hike in nature, and dancing can contribute to this same feeling.
It reduces the adverse effects of stress.
Exercise can help calm down your body’s response to stress by deactivating the flight and fight mechanism. The movement actually helps initiate a rest and restore response instead. This has direct links to positive results in your cardiovascular, digestive and immune systems—by helping protect your body from harmful effects of stress.
It’s meditation in motion.
After a fast-paced game of tennis, a long walk or run, several laps in the pool, or a Zumba fitness class you may often find that you’ve forgotten the day’s irritations and concentrated only on your body’s movements. As you begin to regularly shed your daily tensions through movement and physical activity, you may find that this focus on a single task, and the resulting energy and optimism, can help you stay calm, clear and focused in everything you do.
It improves your mood.
Regular exercise can increase self confidence, improve your mood, help you relax, and lower symptoms of mild depression and anxiety. Exercise can also improve your sleep, which is often disrupted by stress, depression and anxiety.
STICKING WITH IT!
Starting an exercise program is just the first step. Here are some tips for sticking with a new routine or refreshing a tired workout:
Set SMART goals – Write down SMART goals
specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-limited goals. If your primary goal is to reduce stress in your life, your specific goals might include a commitment to walk during your lunch hour three times a week or trying online fitness videos at home.
Find a friend
Knowing that someone is waiting for you to show up at the gym or the park can be a powerful incentive. Try making plans to meet friends for walks or workouts. Working out with a friend, co-worker, or a family member often brings a new level of motivation and commitment to your workouts. And friends can make exercising more fun!
HOW DO YOU MAKE EXERCISE WORK FOR YOUR STRESS RELIEF?
A successful exercise program begins with a few simple steps.
Consult with your doctor
If you haven’t exercised for some time or you have health concerns, you may want to talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.
Walk before you run
Build up your fitness level gradually. Excitement about a new program can lead to overdoing it and possibly even an injury.
Do what you love
Almost any form of movement can increase your fitness level while decreasing your stress. The most important thing is to pick an activity that you enjoy. These can include walking, stair climbing, jogging, dancing, cycling, yoga, tai chi, gardening, weightlifting or swimming. And remember, you don’t need to join a gym to get moving. Take a walk with your dog, try body-weight exercises or follow a yoga video at home.
Pencil it in
Put it into your schedule. You may need to do a morning workout one day and an evening activity the next, but carving out some time to move every day helps you make your exercise program an ongoing priority. Aim to include exercise in your schedule throughout the week.
Change up your routine
If you’ve always been a competitive runner, take a look at other, less competitive options that may help with stress reduction, such as a dance class, Pilates or yoga class. As an added bonus, these kinder, gentler workouts may enhance your running while also decreasing your stress.
Exercise in short bursts
Even brief bouts of physical activity offer benefits. For instance, if you can’t fit in one 30-minute walk, try a few 10-minute walks instead. Being active throughout the day can add up and provide health benefits as well. Take a mid-morning or afternoon break to move and stretch, go for a walk, or do some squats or pushups. Whatever you do, don’t think of exercise as just one more thing on your to-do list. Find an activity you enjoy and make it part of your regular routine. Any form of physical activity can help you unwind and become an essential part of your approach to easing the stress in your life.
She is certified for TRX, Bokwa, Zumba Zin trainer, BOLLYFIT cardio Classes, and outdoor Bootcamps. Also a Bollywood dance choreographer she recently cleared her CES TRAINER examinations making her the first Indian cancer exercise specialist in Asia. She’s also a certified sports nutritionist( HKU). She’s been in the dance and fitness industry over 25 Years. She’s a passionate fitness aficionado whose motto is to spread awareness about health and fitness. Author and Artist of the Bollywood Dance workout DVD “Fitness Guru” released by Sony TV in 2010., takes fitness and Dance classes all over Hongkong for all ages.