How Stress Affects Your Body
Almost everybody experiences stress in their daily lives. There are various types of stress such as Routine stress, long-term stress, and stress caused by sudden, tragic events.
Some levels of stress may be helpful such as meeting a deadline or responding to danger quickly to prevent harm. However, stress can affect your health if you do not seek help for it, so please contact a healthcare professional if you are experiencing severe, or chronic stress (National Institute of Mental Health, 2017).
The Power of Exercise
Exercise is a great way to get your stress levels under control and to improve your sleep. Stress affects the brain and the rest of the body feels it! Therefore, it’s important to take the necessary steps to reduce the effects of stress on your body for the benefit of your health.
*Symptoms of Stress: Low energy, feeling depressed or agitated, and the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep are just a few signs of stress.
FACT: Exercise releases endorphins, chemicals in the brain that help reduce pain and anxiety.
What types of exercise will improve your mood and minimize stress?
1. Take a WALK. Walking helps you to refocus your energy on physical movement. If you do not like to run, then walking may be a great way to get out of your “head” and to get the blood flowing throughout your body.
The Department of Health and Human Services recommends getting at least 150 minutes a week of moderate exercises such as walking or swimming. In fact, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) states, “Just 30 minutes per day of walking can help boost your mood and reduce stress” (p.1).
*A brisk walk is all it may take to gain the benefits of relieving stress and improving your mood.
2. Experience YOGA. Yoga is a fantastic way to improve your levels of stress by enabling you to focus on your breath while performing various positions. For instance, the child pose can help you remain calm by putting you into a meditative state; thus, relieving symptoms of anxiety and even depression.
3. Aerobic Exercise releases stress. Aerobic exercises such as running, cycling, and rowing, can reduce stress and improve the circulatory system as your pulse begins to increase. Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension and to help you sleep better.
National Institute of Mental Health. nimh.nih.gov