reduce stress with exercise

Stress Awareness Month – Exercise to feel better

With April being Stress Awareness Month, we are encouraging more people to reduce their stress levels by getting active. Exercise can help to reduce stress and improve your overall mental wellbeing.

Boost your Endorphins

Many people report feeling a boost of energy and being in a better mood after working out. Exercise boosts the production of the feel-good chemicals that your brain gives out; known as endorphins.

The good news you don’t need to be doing strenuous or high-intensity workouts to get an endorphin high. Simply getting the heart pumping with a light jog or a brisk walk will get your them flowing and boost your mood.

Take your mind off stress-related tasks

Along with boosting your endorphins, working out gives you the chance to take your mind off other commitments that could be contributing to you feeling stressed.

For some people, going on a run isn’t enough to switch off and focus on something positive. This is why new ‘hybrid fitness sessions’ may be a good choice for those who want to keep their mind occupied.

‘Hybrid fitness sessions’ combine two or more areas of fitness. Giving people the chance to increase the intensity of their workout or just get involved with two areas of fitness that they really enjoy.

Overall, finding a class that you enjoy gives you the chance to switch off. And focus on something completely unrelated to what is causing you stress. Knowing that you can switch off and let yourself reset can act as reassurance. A tool you know you have ready for the more stressful times.

Improved sleep

According to a National Sleep Foundation survey, 43% of people aged 13-65 reported struggling to sleep due to stress. When you are stressed, there is a rise in the number of alertness and vigilance hormones in your system. That’s why many people who get stressed also struggle to get a good amount of quality sleep.

When it comes to sleep, it is not just how many hours that you get that is important. The quality of sleep you are getting is just as essential to your wellbeing.

Exercising at any point during the day allows you to burn any unspent energy and tension that you have built up. Which makes it a lot easier to fall asleep and get better quality sleep.

Some people say that working out later in the day makes them feel more alert. Research has shown that exercising at this time of day helps you to sleep. It produces endorphins that make you feel calm and relaxed. Helping you to wind-down at the end of the day.

Creating a healthy mindset

Fitness has huge mental health benefits, and one of the biggest benefits is boosting your mood. Health and fitness experts state that when it comes to exercising to reduce stress, your best bet is to look into cardio based exercise.

Cardiovascular exercise has been proven to be most beneficial for reducing stress. Those with better cardiovascular health and endurance have lower-resting heart rates. This means that those with lower resting heart rates are more capable of handling stressful situations and staying calm when they arise.

Although cardio is proven to be most beneficial, it is more important to keep fit in a way that suits you than to force yourself to do cardio. So, if you prefer lifting weights or core training more than cardio workouts, hit the weights and give running a miss.

Spreading the news

For some people looking to reduce stress, getting fit doesn’t come to mind. With the huge potential that exercise holds for reducing stress, we need to get the message out there.

For Personal Trainers, the benefits of exercise on reducing stress could help as a marketing tool. “Get fit, feel better.” Mental health issues can affect anyone, so the impact that Personal Trainers can have on their clients’ lives is huge.

If you’re looking to expand your Personal Training skills and learn more about the mental health benefits of exercise, take a look at our Exercise Referral Diplomas .

To find out more about where Exercise Referral could take you, get in touch with our team.


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