18 April 2019
Feeling stressed? You need to exercise more
Stress is on the rise
Regular exercise is good for our physical health, but it is also hugely beneficial to the mind and our ability to manage the stresses of every day life.
Stress has many contributing factors: work, health concerns, money worries, and life in general can lead to a rise in stress and anxiety. In 2018, a UK wide stress survey commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation revealed that 74% of adults had at some point in the previous 12 months felt so stressed that they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope.
“Stress isn’t avoidable, but it is manageable” (Stress Management Society).
We can’t run away from our problems, but we can exercise to ease the stresses they create and introducing regular physical activity into every day life can help to relieve stress in more ways than one.
A Natural Release
Aerobic exercise causes your heart rate to increase, and this stimulates your body’s production of endorphins – the chemicals in the brain which naturally suppress pain and lift your mood.
Remember that upbeat feeling you get after you exercise? This is your body experiencing a natural high. As well as being natural pain relievers and mood boosters, endorphins are also known to improve our ability to sleep. All of these benefits combined can help to reduce stress, and exercising regularly means you will experience the mental positives more often.
A Feeling of Wellbeing
The physical benefits of regular exercise include improved fitness, stamina and weight loss. These all contribute towards our own feelings of self-worth and as we become physically stronger, so does our ability to manage our mental strength and wellbeing.
A Welcome Distraction
When you feel stressed, your mind can think of nothing but the cause of that stress. Focussing your thoughts on something else – even for a short period – can provide much needed relief and an aversion from those worries.
Joining a gym class or a sports team will introduce you to a new social circle and this can act as another welcome distraction from stress and anxiety.
Small Changes, Big Differences
Regular exercise doesn’t have to mean a tough gym session or a 10k run. Going for a 20 minute stroll or joining a yoga class can be just as beneficial to your mental health. Different forms of exercise bring various benefits, and each one will work better for different people. Your relief come from enjoying some fresh air, focussing on the power of your breathing, or the steadying rhythm of muscle repetitions – stress comes in many forms, and managing it is unique to the individual.
Where Should You Start?
It is advisable to consult with your GP before undertaking any new form of exercise. Your level of fitness will generally determine where you should start, but you can also try different things to find out what activity or activities you enjoy the most (variety is the spice of life!)
If you need some inspiration to begin, this article by the Stress Management Society suggests 4 stress busting forms of exercise to try.
The Kinetik Wellbeing Fitness range includes devices for tracking your activity, monitoring heart rate and managing weight. You can monitor your heart health with a Kinetik blood pressure monitor to make sure that your physical wellbeing is under control. Or manage any aches and pains with a Kinetik TENS Pain Reliever.
Shop now at www.kinetikwellbeing.com
Header image © fizkes – stock.adobe.com
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