EXERCISE CAN HELP CONTROL STRESS
HOW IT WORKS
People who exercise regularly will tell you they fee; better. Some will say it's because chemicals called neurotransmitters, produced in the brain, are stimulated during exercise. Since it's believed that neurotransmitters mediate our moods and emotions, they can make us feel better and less stressed. While there's no scientific evidence to conclusively support, the neurotransmitter theory, there is plenty to show that exercise provides stress-relieving benefits.
FOUR WAYS EXERCISE CONTROLS STRESS
Exercise can help you fill less anxious. Exercise is being prescribed in clinical settings to help treat nervous tension. Following a session of exercise, clinicians have measured a decrease in electrical activity of tensed muscles. Jittery, hyperactive people have been less jittery and hyperactive after an exercise session.
Exercise can relax you. One exercise session generates 90 to 120 minutes of relaxation response. Some people call this post-exercise euphoria or endorphin response. We now know that many neurotransmitters, not just endorphins, are involved. The important thing though is not what they've called, but what they do: They improve your mood and leave you relaxed.
Exercise can make you feel better about yourself. Think about those times when you've been physically active. Haven't you felt better about yourself? That feeling of self-worth contributes to stress relief.
Exercise can make you eat better. People who exercise regularly tend
to eat more nutritious food. And it's no secret that good nutrition helps your
body manage stress better.
IT'S TIME TO GET STARTED
Now that you know exercise can make a big difference in controlling stress, make some time for regular physical activity. We'll help you get started by listing three activities you can choose from:
NOT JUST ANY EXERCISE WILL DO
Don't try exercising in your office. Outdoors or away from the office is the best place to find a stress-free environment. Even a corporate fitness center can have too many work-related thoughts for some people.
Stay away from overcrowded classes. If you work surrounded by people, a big exercise class may be counterproductive. Solo exercise may be more relaxing for you. If, however, you work alone, you may enjoy the social benefit of exercising in a group. A lot depends on you personality and what causes stress for you.
Don't skip a chance to exercise. Take a break every 90 minutes and you'll be doing yourself a favor. Ninety-minute intervals are a natural work-break period. And for 10-minute exercise breaks at this time will burn about as many calories as a solid 40-minute session. Work-break exercises can be as simple as walking or climbing stairs, stretching or doing calisthenics.
Controlling stress comes down to making the time to exercise. You're worth
Compliments of: The American Council on Exercise ACE-- acefitness.org
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