Break Free from Stress with Exercise

The heart pounding and fast breathing sensation is our adrenaline that allows us to focus in response to the impending danger or things that stress us – to fight or flight. It is in essence evolutionary. But luckily for us, we are no longer living in the jungle and being chased by the lions and tigers.

Exercise and Stress

So, what is the modern-day definition of stress? It is defined as ‘a situation whereby life demands exceed the person’s capacity and capability to cope.’ These stressful demands may come out of work, personal life, or both (1).

Work and life related stressors!

Exercise and Stress

Work related stressors are heavy workload, tight deadlines, long hours, and unbalanced work-life struggle. Life related stressors are loss of job, major illness, divorce, death in the family, just to name a few. Regardless of the source of the stress, our body’s response both mental and physical is one and the same: It is a defensive response. The mental responses to stress are cognitive difficulties, irritability, and depression, while fatigue, headaches, heart palpitation and muscular tensions are the physical manifestation of stress.

Stress, the silent killer.

Stress has a profound impact on how our body’s systems function. Health experts are still sorting out whether stress causes cancer. Yet there’s little doubt that it promotes the proliferation of diseases and weakens our immune system. Put simply, unchecked it makes our body more hospitable to chronic diseases leading to tragic consequences.

Prevention is the best deterrent.

Exercise and Stress

Exercise is the most practical and affordable method to put stress in check (2). Taking part in aerobic exercise such as walking, running biking…etc. maintains your cardiovascular health. Anaerobic exercise such as bodyweight, free-weight, and some machine-based pull and push exercises will ensure the maintenance and integrity of our bones and muscles.

There is no debate that being physically active improves the way the body handles stressors. The hormonal responses such as elevated endorphins, serotonin, dopamine have all mood changing effect which gives you a sense of reprieve from the stressor. The elation that runners feel after their run known as “the runners high” is not imagined, it is real. In the aftermath of vigorous exercise, the chemical reaction that takes place in our bodies effect a sense of relief, attainment, and euphoria. Take time out from stress and exercise!

For more information on how to optimize your health please click on the link below (3)

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