Life today is hectic. We have more to do, less time to do it and the mounting pressures of everyday life adding to the fun. Some might say, that with everything else we have to cram into our daily schedule, exercise doesn’t always come top of the priority list!
What they may not be aware of, is that exercise also happens to be a great reliever of stress.
GP’s will often refer patients to exercise in order to manage their stress, thanks to the powerful benefits a little movement can add to our well-being. Those studying our Exercise Referral course will be familiar with the increasing number of patients being referred to fitness professionals, with safe and effective exercise on the agenda.
So, as November 1st marks Stress Awareness Day, we take a look at the impact of exercise as a stress reliever, and how making time for a little activity can make way for a lot less stress…
Get It All Moving
The body likes to move. Trust us, it’s what keeps it performing at it’s best! Being active increases blood flow around the body, including to the brain. By getting in plenty of regular exercise, this blood flow keep the body from getting sluggish, instead prompting better focus, concentration and positive thoughts.
A Dose of D
Getting your daily regime done in the great outdoors not only lifts the mood by getting you plenty of fresh air, but it also encourages the body to produce the happy vitamin D when exposed to the bright sunlight.
Soothe The Soreness
Aches and pains caused by slouching over a desk all day can add to our mood. Throw in harsh strip lighting and air conditioned environments, and the body has every reason to feel a little tense! Exercise will help to stretch out the muscles that have been contorted up over that computer all day, and give the body a boost of energy, in turn, making you feel more alert.
Social Stress Relief
Working out with others not only helps you to feel part of a community, but also helps you to achieve your goals. After all, nobody wants to be seen as a quitter! The feel-good hormones that come out when we’re amongst friends work as natural stress relievers, whilst the excitement of hitting your goals together will only boost the rush further.
A Spot Of Me Time
Sometimes, we all need a little space to reflect on the day and relieve our own stresses. Exercising alone is a great way to get some quiet time to assess where the stresses stem from, and how best to tackle them!
The Endorphin Effect
Exercise encourages the body to release the happy hormones, Endorphins. The more often you exercise, the longer the effects last.
Cut The Cortisol
Similarly, regular workouts will help to lower the amounts of stress hormones, Cortisol and Adrenalin within the body, making you feel more relaxed.
So, it seems what whilst we often reach for a strong coffee, a post-work drink, or seek medication to help us deal with our stress, exercise is not only one of the most powerful solutions, it’s the most natural, sustainable and in most cases… it’s free too!
It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise we’re doing. Some like to run, accompanies by their favourite playlist. Others like to play sports with friends. You can be hitting the treadmill in the gym, or pounding the pavement in the great outdoors… it all counts towards the feel good factor!
For Personal Trainers faced with the client who claims they are ‘too stressed’ to exercise, you may wish to share this with them…