If you’re like most people, you wake up early and start your day on a time crunch. You’re rushing around to get ready for work while you’re helping the rest of your family do the same. You battle rush hour traffic then you spend 8 hours in a place that tests your patience. Understandably, once you finish up with work, you feel stressed and frustrated. The last thing that you probably want to do is get into the gym but it may be exactly what you need in order to put your mood back in balance. Let’s review the 4 ways that exercise can help you de-stress.
The most obvious way that exercise can help you beat stress is to take whatever you’re obsessing over and put it aside for awhile. When you’re putting all of your focus into the task at hand, which is running on a treadmill, for example, then you forget about what made you so angry in the first place. No matter which type of exercise that you choose, be sure to completely focus on that and that alone.
We are social creatures and the gym is one of the best places to find likeminded people. Chances are the guy or girl next to you in the weight room is having just as stressful a day as you. Starting casual conversation is easy and it helps to alleviate the stress from the day. When you interact with others, you’re helping further remove yourself from the stressful events earlier in the day. Just be sure to keep the conversation light, funny, and positive. In other words, don’t rant about your bad day.
Have you ever walked out of the gym after a great workout and noticed how GOOD you felt? When you exercise, your body releases a wave of feel good chemicals called endorphins. The best example is the “Runner’s High” that many runners experience after a long and intense run. Your body might be physically tired but your brain is flooded with these chemicals that make you feel amazing.
Most importantly, you need to exercise to achieve optimal health. The better your health is, the better you’ll feel on a day to day basis. It’s not a coincidence that those with the poorest physical health also have the worst mental health. Skipping on your daily exercise weakens the body and avoiding essential vitamins and minerals through good nutrition ensures you’re deficient in one or several key nutrients. The result is poor health and a bad state of mind.
The CDC recommends the following for exercise guidelines:
Make the time and your body and brain will thank you for it.
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How do you feel after a great workout?
What differences do you notice?
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