For some people, stress can be more than just a little bit stressful—it can actually interfere with their daily activities and even get in the way of their relationships and enjoyment of life.
When you're in a stressful situation, your body creates a surge of hormones. These hormones cause your heart to pump quicker and your blood vessels to narrow, therefore raising your blood pressure.
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How Exercise Affects Stress
One of the most effective strategies to deal with and overcome stress and anxiety is to exercise. Endorphins, which are natural painkillers, are released by your brain when you exercise. Exercising on a regular basis, whether every day or three times a week, promotes your brain to create endorphins, which can help you feel better.
Working out reduces stress hormones like cortisol in the body. To summarize, exercise helps you feel peaceful and in control of your life by releasing endorphins while also decreasing stress chemicals.
Here are 5 stress-busting ways to exercise:
The best way to combat stress is to start by lowering your levels of cortisol. Cortisol affects the release of a number of neurotransmitters, including dopamine and serotonin.
When levels are too high, these neurotransmitters can decrease, leading to stress and anxiety. Exercise has been proven to help keep cortisol production low, so try some of the workouts mentioned in this post or one of your own design.
Yoga is a form of strength training that makes you more resilient and flexible, relieving physical tension. It also promotes deep breathing, which triggers the body’s relaxation response.
Yoga has also been shown to lower blood pressure in studies. Yoga helps you to focus your thoughts, which is important for stress management.
2) Tai Chi
Tai Chi (also known as tai chi chuan) is a Chinese martial art that combines physical movement with breathing. Also known as "meditation in action," it encourages a mental absorption that allows everyday anxieties to fade away.
Tai Chi also improves flexibility and vitality, resulting in a better overall sense of well-being. Other advantages include improved balance, comfortable sleep, and cardiovascular fitness.
Unlike yoga, tai chi consists of over 100 gentle, fluid motions that are linked to each other and your breath; there are no pauses between poses. There are various types of tai chi, similar to yoga, that vary in intensity.
3) Qi Gong
Qigong, along with acupuncture and herbs, is regarded one of the cornerstones of Chinese medicine, similar to tai chi. Regular qigong practice can help you feel more calm, enhance your sleep and digestion, and boost your vitality.
Qigong, like tai chi, helps you to be more present in your body. Its slow, smooth motions and emphasis on moving in sync with the breath are incredibly soothing to the neurological system.
It's simple to do and requires no extra training or equipment. Walking frequently can reduce a number of stress-related illnesses, including cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes. People who walk regularly report lower stress levels and more self-confidence as a result of taking an active role in their health.
Walking relieves stress in major muscle groups, improves respiration, and calms the neurological system. It also enables us to spend healing time in nature.
If you're new to walking for exercise, start with two 10-minute walks each week. Increase the frequency and duration of your walks after two or three weeks. To stay healthy and reduce stress, experts say it's a good idea to take five or six 30-minute walks each week.
Pilates is a set of exercises that focuses on developing body awareness, core strength, and good alignment. Pilates develops a bodily equilibrium that makes it difficult for tension to take hold. It focuses equally on strengthening and lengthening muscles.
Pilates, like yoga, demands attention to "blast you into the now," leaving little mental space for stress. Finally, Pilates is known for lowering back and neck pain, which is a common stress side effect.
Pilates can be done on a reformer machine (usually only found in Pilates studios) or on a mat on the floor (logically termed "mat" or "floor").
There is no single perfect workout for reducing the effects of stress, but a consistent exercise program is better than one that gets abandoned after just a few tries.
There really are no negative side effects to adding exercise to your life, and you will certainly feel better if you take efforts to improve your overall health and fitness. So if you really want to reduce your stress levels, consider adding 20-30 minutes of physical activity every day to your schedule.
As long as it's something that can become part of your regular routine, you'll be well on your way.
Q. How often do you workout?