Our daily routines are filled with stress-inducing tasks. Be it your employment or studies; there is constant stress around you. Much of it is also attributed to the high-tech, digitalized lifestyles that we live, causing a reduction in physical exercise, which is correlated to stress.
Often among us, the notion of relaxation is confused with resting. Many people believe that resting is the ultimate relaxation, yet they are tensed, stressed, and deprived of any rest. While resting does serve the purpose, it is not the only thing that can help you with stress. In fact, you can only achieve optimum rest once you are relaxed, both at mind and body.
Here is where physical activity and exercise comes into play. In this blog, we will discuss how exercise can help you reduce stress.
Effects of Stress
Stress is not just physically and mentally exhausting yourself while working on something. However, it is a little bit more complexed than just that. Stress is a natural human instinct; it is a defence mechanism to help us overcome different challenging situations. Stress can be a physical or a mental response, depending on what the scenario is. Different hormones are released into your body as a reaction, which affects you physically and mentally.
However, this mechanism was only meant to deal with immediate situations where a stress response would best help you out. Today, you are surrounded by constant triggers that keep you in a state of stress. You hear all sorts of horrible news all day, you have responsibilities that may be too hard to deal with, or you may even get triggered by the excess use of social media. There is a wide range of stress triggers, and the answer to all of them is to relax.
While you may think that asking someone to relax seems obnoxious, it is not. Relaxation is not about curling up into your bed and taking a nap. Relaxation is a state of our body and mind that we achieve when there are no stress-inducing hormones in our body.
Effects of Exercise on Stress
Engaging in more physical activity and exercise has dozens of benefits and positive impacts on our body. Exercising is often thought of as something to maintain muscle tone, but it is so much more than that. Exercise is not just weight lifting, and it is the best way to maintain physical and mental fitness.
When you exercise, your blood flow gets better, and so does your oxygen intake. Oxygen is imperative in keeping your cells healthy and alive. With increased blood flow and oxygen, your brain cells are also in the best shape, allowing them to function better.
Your brain releases various chemicals as a response to exercise. These hormones include endorphins, adrenaline, serotonin, and dopamine. All of these hormones are related to positive activity within your body. Elevated endorphin levels are what cause a sense of happiness and comfort after exercise. Serotonin and dopamine are the other hormones that are associated with better moods. Serotonin is also helpful when it comes to resting better, and it improves your sleep quality. Adrenaline is responsible for increased blood flow and oxygen intake. It makes sure that your blood glucose levels are at optimum levels, helping your brain function better.
The release of all these positive hormones decreases the cortisol activity in our body. Cortisol is a hormone that is responsible for inducing stress in our body. This, in turn, helps your body get into a relaxed state.
Exercising can also help you divert yourself from the negative thoughts that cause you stress. Focusing on breathing and muscle movement has been a great way to take your mind off anxious thoughts. Not only this, but it also creates a sense of achievement and clarity that helps you calm down and effectively reduces stress.
It is important that you engage in physical activities and exercises that do not trigger stress. For example, if you are not comfortable around large weights or believe that taking out an hour for exercise will bring you more stress in terms of time consumption, do not opt for these options. The Gym Melbourne offers a variety of different classes to help you out.
Check out their website to learn more about them here: https://www.thegymmelbourne.com.au/.