Did you know that exercise is one of the best remedies for stress? It works in a number of ways, not least by releasing endorphins, the feel-good hormones. Of course, exercise has many other benefits, but let’s focus on the stress-reducing properties first, and endorphins play a big part in that. Moderate exercise is also good for your heart and helps lower blood pressure. In other words, exercise helps you directly combat some of the worst effects of stress.
Another reason exercise is great for stress relief is that it helps you sleep better at night. There’s nothing like a deep sleep to help you relax and wake up feeling refreshed and significantly less stressed. A good workout or a few yoga exercises before bed can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Try the exercises and see the benefits for yourself.
It doesn’t take much exercise to see the benefits. Something as simple as a ten-minute walk will help you, and the benefits add up quickly if you make it a daily habit. You can get out and walk. Or you can force yourself to walk during commercial breaks in front of the TV. Get a pedometer that beeps when you’ve been sitting too long, and strive to walk 4,000 steps a day.
Of course, walking isn’t your only option. Any kind of physical activity will help relieve stress. Think about something you enjoy doing. Maybe you enjoyed playing basketball in high school. Find a recreational league that meets once or twice a week, or go to the park on your way home to play a short game. If you like to swim, go to a local pool and swim before dinner or first thing in the morning. You can probably shower at the facility and drive to work from there.
Or how about dancing? You can join a club, take lessons, or just turn up the music and dance around the house whenever you need a break from everything else. Keep it fun and enjoy the added mood-lifting effects of music. When you’re ready for a more intense workout, sign up for a Zumba class.
Here’s the key to bringing more movement and physical activity into your life. Try something and see what you can keep up.
This is the most important part. Create some simple routines and habits that will get you moving more and watch the stress melt away.