If you thought that hitting the gym was just about getting hench or becoming an Olympic level athlete then it is time to think again.
The thing is, we are all familiar with the feel-good factor that comes with going to the gym. Even if you dread walking through the door, you’ll leave feeling like the world is a happier, more vibrant place...and a lot better about yourself too. What’s not to love?
In life we all have to cope with stress. Some of us have more than others and we all manage it differently but managing stress can take many different forms, but hard exercise is almost universally beneficial no matter who you are.
If you are someone who does suffer from stress or anxiety then hitting the gym can make a huge difference to the way you feel day-to-day. Of course, it’s not the end-all and there are those who suffer from stress and require medication but if you can fit exercise into your routine then you can benefit in many ways.
Exercise is one of the best methods for pushing stress aside. When you undertake exercise, your stress levels will reduce and that can make you feel better both physically and mentally. It can release tension, improve your mood and help you manage anger and even depression. All of these things can be brought on by stress and so, exercising is vital.
How Does Exercise Ease Stress?
When we exercise, our bodies go through a lot of change. To begin with, we use oxygen differently causing your blood flow to improve, both of which have an impact on the brain. What’s more, exercise also causes the body to release endorphins. These little chemicals makes us feel good and have sometimes been described as ‘the bees knees’, mostly by myself.
Endorphins are the main reason why runners experience “Runner’s High” and why you leave the gym feeling on top of the world. This sense of well-being and good feeling contributes to the reduction of stress and leaves you feeling more positive.
To add to this, when we exercise, we tend to live in the moment. Whether that is counting reps or working towards a certain distance when running we tend to focus on our movements, rhythm or the technical skills of the task at hand. All of that helps us put our day-to-day stress out of mind. When we focus on exercising, it helps to deliver a feeling of clarity and calmness. Zen, bro.
These feelings are harnessed over time and although we get that instant feel-good buzz the positive vibes don’t stop there. These are feelings that can accumulate over time. So, as you exercise more and commit to a training routine, you will encourage that feeling of positivity and that will feed into everyday life, even when you aren’t pushing yourself in the gym.
We all know that exercise is good for us because it enhances our health and well-being in other ways. When we improve our health we can deal with stress indirectly. Improving the health of our hearts and our overall feeling of strength and enhanced fitness can leave our bodies at their absolute peak, enabling us to feel good all of the time.
How Much Exercise Does it Take?
At a minimum we should be aiming to fit in around three sessions of at least twenty minutes each per week. However, the more you can fit in, the more you’ll take advantage of the benefits of your exertion. Of course, it doesn’t necessarily have to be gym time.
You can opt to focus on muscle-strengthening exercises or you can increase your stamina through aerobic exercise. Whatever you choose, make sure that you break yourself into it slowly. First of all, by going at it too hard, you will injure yourself and secondly, you might get disheartened and that is no good for dealing with stress.
So, increase your level of physical activity gradually over time and you will experience the benefits in every possible way.
What Exercises Are Good For Stress?
Let’s be honest, any exercise is better than none but if you want to combat stress then you don’t have to be a pro-weightlifter or a marathon runner. Exercise, in general, will help to relieve stress, even if that is a brisk walk each day.
However, if you are thinking of what exercises might work best then you should focus on biking, jogging or walking on the treadmill or even rowing while weight lifting will also help you to combat stress effectively.
So, is exercise good for anxiety? Absolutely. It is a great way to reduce your stress levels, releases those feel-good chemicals and improve your health overall. There is no better feeling than getting through an exercise session knowing that you are banishing the stress and doing something that is good for the body and mind.