Exercise and Reducing Stress
We have all heard of the physical benefits of exercise. These benefits include reducing the chance of obtaining many different types of diseases to just improving your overall physical condition. But exercise can do so much more for you. Studies have shown that it is very effective at reducing fatigue, improving alertness and concentration, and at enhancing overall cognitive function. It can even help lower your overall stress levels.
Exercise has been proven to lower stress in many different ways. One way in which exercise lowers our bodies stress levels is by increasing our endorphins levels. These endorphins are the brains feel-good neurotransmitters, the same ones that are released when we fall in love. When these levels are increased our mood has been shown to improve and lower our stress levels.
Exercise doesn’t just increase the level of our endorphins but also decreases the production of cortisol, the stress hormone. Cortisol production has been shown to increase when somebody faces a stressor. When someone exercise this production has been shown to decrease and improve ones overall stress levels.
Exercise has also been looked at as a way of meditation. When people tend to exercise they seem to concentrate on what their body is doing, forgetting all of their daily stressors. This allows for people to clear their head and think more clearly, lowering stress levels and improving mood.
Though exercise has been proven to be very beneficial, when beginning a new exercise program it is important to start slow and stay within your fitness level. Find something that you enjoy, from running, to playing a sport, or even just going for a walk with a friend. All of these have been proven to help lower stress and help with your mental and physical conditioning.