X: X-ercise to Relieve Stress

A2Z-BADGE [2016]

X: X-ERCISE

Yes, I’m fudging in looking for an ‘X’ word for the A to Z Blog Challenge.

Exercise is an important component of combating stress, something that far too many of us find in our lives. And no, it doesn’t have to be a life consuming, five days a week at the gym, working towards next triathlon exercise. A simple walk around the block (with your spouse or the family dog is even better), or even dancing around the house while you clean or cook dinner, will give you stress-reducing benefits.

The Mayo Clinic has this to say about exercise and stress:

Virtually any form of exercise, from aerobics to yoga, can act as a stress reliever. If you’re not an athlete or even if you’re out of shape, you can still make a little exercise go a long way toward stress management. Discover the connection between exercise and stress relief — and why exercise should be part of your stress management plan.

Exercise and stress relief

Exercise increases your overall health and your sense of well-being, which puts more pep in your step every day. But exercise also has some direct stress-busting benefits.

It pumps up your endorphins. Physical activity helps bump up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Although this function is often referred to as a runner’s high, a rousing game of tennis or a nature hike also can contribute to this same feeling.

It’s meditation in motion. After a fast-paced game of racquetball or several laps in the pool, you’ll often find that you’ve forgotten the day’s irritations and concentrated only on your body’s movements.

As you begin to regularly shed your daily tensions through movement and physical activity, you may find that this focus on a single task, and the resulting energy and optimism, can help you remain calm and clear in everything you do.

It improves your mood. Regular exercise can increase self-confidence, it can relax you, and it can lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety. Exercise can also improve your sleep, which is often disrupted by stress, depression and anxiety. All of these exercise benefits can ease your stress levels and give you a sense of command over your body and your life.

Have you ever used exercise to alleviate stress in your life? Do you have a favorite exercise activity that you like?

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April 2016
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