Unfortunately, stress and anxiety are a reality of life, and they can significantly affect your overall well-being. While there are several strategies you can use to alleviate your stress, there is one proven way to make a significant impact. Exercise is one of the most effective ways to lighten your mood and improve your mental health. By committing to regular workouts throughout the week, you can reduce the harm that prolonged stress and anxiety can have on your outlook on life.
How Working Out Can Reduce Stress
There are several reasons why you feel better after working out. First, exercise’s physical stress on your body prompts your brain to release endorphins. Endorphins are hormones your brain produces that elevate your mood while decreasing your perception of pain. When you work out often, your brain will also begin to secrete these endorphins regularly, helping to boost your mood and combat stress.
When you are stressed, your body produces a stress hormone called cortisol. While lower levels of cortisol can help your body respond to a stressful or dangerous situation, too much cortisol can increase anxiety symptoms and even lead to persistent high blood sugar. When you work out your cortisol levels decrease, leading to a sense of calm and better control over your life.
What Kind Of Exercises Can You Do To Reduce Stress and Anxiety?
Several types of exercise can reduce your stress levels, and you can choose from various high-energy or low-impact activities to get started. For example, yoga is excellent for improving your strength and balance, and there is an emphasis on the “mind-body” connection that helps address your mental health. If you’re in the mood for something that will get your heart racing, aerobic activities like running, dancing and spin classes can help you feel better physically and mentally. As long as you’re elevating your heart rate and having fun, your body will benefit regardless of your chosen activity.
The Benefits Of Having an Exercise Routine
While fitting exercise into any point of your day is good, there are several benefits to establishing a routine. Not only does exercise help you feel happier, but it benefits your overall physical health. Working out builds cardiovascular endurance and can help you maintain your current weight or even shed a few pounds. As you get older, you gradually lose bone density and muscle mass. However, incorporating weight training into your routine will help combat those issues.
If you find it challenging to set a daily workout routine, start small. Instead of committing to a long sweat session at the gym, consider waking up earlier than usual to go on a short morning walk. If you dislike walks, start your day with some light yoga. Once you have established your new routine, consider adding some free weight workouts or even applying for a gym membership. No matter how you choose to fit exercise into your lifestyle, your body will reap the benefits, and you’ll enjoy a boost to your mental health.