According to a recent study of 10,000 people by Bupa, 44% of us suffer from stress, with 1 in 4 of us suffering constantly from stress. There are many negative effects that Stress has on the body such as:
⦁ Muscle tension or pain
⦁ Chest pain
⦁ Change in sex drive
⦁ Stomach upset
⦁ Sleep problems
Stress also affects your mood, it can lead to anxiety, restlessness, lack of focus, irritability/ anger and sadness or depression. Below is an example of a stressful lifestyle pattern.
How exercise reduces stress
Most forms of exercise can help to reduce stress. Exercise is great at reducing fatigue, improving your alertness and focus and enhancing overall cognitive function. This is very helpful when stress has depleted your energy.
Increased production of endorphins
When stress affects the brain, the rest of the body feels the impact as well. If your body feels better so does your mind. Exercise increases the production of endorphins which are chemicals in the brain that make you feel good and they act like natural pain killers. Endorphins also help to improve your ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress. Endorphins give you a noticeable “high” and often after a workout you feel a lift in your spirits.
So in short exercise increases production of endorphins which makes you feel good and subsequently less stressed!
Exercise improves mood
Another way exercise reduces stress is that it improves your mood. Regular exercise can improve your confidence, help you relax and lower symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety. Exercise can also help you to get more sleep, sleep is often affected by stress. These exercise benefits lead to a reduction in stress and subsequently and improvement in your mood.
Exercise Improves well-being
Exercising on a regular basis improves emotional well being. People who are active on a regular basis are more relaxed, less anxious and depressed. Active people also report less stress in their lives, and as a result of being very active their well-being is significantly improved.
Takes your mind off your worries
Repetitive movements involved with exercise promote focus on your body rather than your mind. By focusing on movements you experience similar benefits to meditation while working out. This helps you to relax and take your mind off of your worries and frustrations.
Above is an example of a stress-less lifestyle pattern.
So to summarise how exercise reduces stress: It increases production of endorphins which makes you feel great and less stressed, it improves your mood, confidence and helps you to relax, exercise improves your wellbeing because you are more relaxed, less anxious and depressed. And finally it helps to take your mind off of your worries by focusing on your body and relaxing.
So start exercising more and you will feel a lot less stressed.
This guest Blog is written by Robert Leat of Robert Leat Fitness.
Robert is a Bristol based personal trainer and online coach who specialises in helping busy working professionals to lose more fat and feel more confident.
You can learn more and connect with Rob @
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