How Exercise Can Reduce Stress and Help You Keep Fit
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Meta Description: Stress is linked to several diseases, including hypertension. Here’s how regular exercise leads to stress alleviation and keep fit, ensuring a healthier life.
Stress is associated with a number of mental and physical diseases, including mood swings, depression and obesity, as well as hypertension, and hormonal issues in women.
We live in a fast-paced world where stress and bad eating habits have become the norm. Both these things combined can wreak havoc on the human body and lead to lifelong health repercussions. Fortunately, though, there is a way you can beat stress and help you keep fit.
Regular exercise can improve your overall health and sense of well-being. Not only does exercise reduce stress and ensure optimal body weight, but it also results in a number of other physical, mental, and emotional benefits.
The Beneficial Effects of Exercise on Stress
Every person experiences stress at one time or another. However, if stress becomes a chronic condition, it can lead to all kinds of ailments. Studies have shown that exercise is associated with reduced stress. Although the exact cause is unknown, several factors can result in reduced stress if you exercise:
Increased Emotional Resilience: According to research conducted on two groups of people –one active and one sedentary – it was found that stress resulted in a smaller decline in positive mood among people who exercised regularly. On the other hand, stress had a bigger impact on sedentary people. This study indicates that people who exercise regularly may experience increased resilience, which can help them overcome difficult situations.
Release of Endorphins: Exercise can help release endorphins, which are feel-good hormones. Although this phenomenon is known as “runner’s high,” any type of aerobics or workout like hiking or a game of tennis can result in the same type of feeling.
Mimics Flight or Fight Response: Exercise can get your adrenaline pumping, creating a fight or flight response in your body. This same response is triggered during stressful situations. As such, exercise can help your body and systems work together through this process.
Improves Focus: After a thrilling game of badminton or several laps in the swimming pool, many of us forget the day’s stresses and focus only on the movements of our body. This singular focus on an activity and the resulting positive energy can help you stay calm and think clearly.
Improves Sleep: Sleep deprivation is linked to increased stress. Exercise can tire out your body and promote a healthy, deep, and relaxing sleep, which will not be disrupted by stress. All of these things will reduce your stress and ensure control over your body.
The Beneficial Effects of Exercise On Your Fitness Level
We all know that regular physical exercise is good for getting rid of unhealthy body fat and maintaining optimal weight. Exercise is the healthiest way to stay fit.
Burns Unhealthy Fats: When you live a sedentary life without exercising, it can lead to an excess amount of fat stored in your body. This can lead to obesity and a number of health conditions like high cholesterol levels, diabetes, hypertension, heart diseases, and other chronic disorders. However, regular exercise can help you get rid of the extra fat in your body and maintain optimal body weight.
Boosts Energy: Regular exercise can do wonders for your metabolism. With regular exercise, your body is able to burn calories and use the energy effectively. As such, people who exercise regularly have higher energy levels than people who live a sedentary lifestyle.
Exercise improves the transfer of nutrients and oxygen to your tissues as well as improves blood circulation. When you have good heart and lung health, you have more energy and stamina to tackle your daily tasks.
Builds Muscle: By relying on strict diets alone to reduce weight, you may plateau. That is the stage where you are unable to lose weight no matter how much you diet. Worse, you will also experience muscle deterioration, which will make you feel weak and shaky.
With regular exercise, you can build a healthy amount of muscles while maintaining optimal body weight. In addition, muscle building will also increase your metabolism, even when you are resting.
Improves Immunity: Exercise can increase your immunity by improving the circulation of immune cells in your body, which can help your body fight infections better. It can also manage the immune response by reducing inflammation, which otherwise can lead to chronic inflammation and can result in serious diseases like abnormal cell growth. Once your immunity is strengthened, you will be able to not just recover and heal from illnesses and injury quicker but will also not fall sick as frequently.
Maintains Optimal Weight: Regular exercise is the most sustainable way to maintain an optimal body weight. Strict dietary plans without exercises often result in malnutrition, low immunity, and muscle loss. However, if you add a good workout plan to your regimen, you will be able to reach your fitness goals quickly and in a much healthier way than just eating less.
Other Benefits of Exercise
Aside from stress relief and weight management, exercise can result in several other benefits as well, including:
- Improved blood sugar level that reduces the risk of diabetes, heart diseases, and even certain forms of cancer
- Maintaining and developing your muscle mass and ensuring strong and dense bones, which can reduce the risk of muscle deterioration and bone brittleness
- Reducing the risks of certain neurodegenerative disorders like dementia-related diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
Regular exercise can help you maintain an optimal weight, keep your body fit, and ensure a healthier and more fulfilling life.
How Much Exercise Do You Need?
For most adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends a combination of aerobic exercises and strength training.
An adult should get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic or 75 minutes of high-intensity aerobics or a mix of both in a week. If you want to maintain a healthy weight, it is recommended that you increase aerobics to 300 minutes a week. However, being active for a smaller period of time can also help you stay fit.
In addition, it is also recommended to do strength training for all your major muscle groups at least twice a well. Try to do a single set of each exercise using weights to work your muscles in the best way possible after every 12 or 15 repetitions.
Best Exercises to Relieve Stress
However, keep in mind though that some of these exercises like running, dancing, and HIIT are high-impact exercises so you will need to build up your muscles to do them without risking injury to yourself.
That is why we recommend you add strength training to your regimen. Use weights, weight machines, resistance paddles, bands, or tubings, or your own body weight to build up muscles or take part in endurance activities like rock climbing.
As a general rule, you should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day.
Other forms of exercise that can reduce stress and restore calm and inner peace are:
- Walking in the woods or along the beach
- Yoga or tai chi
- Breathing exercises
Thinking of starting a great workout regimen?
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