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Anyone Stressed? Exercise helps with that!

 Managing Stress with Exercise 

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☑️ Managing Stress with Exercise

 

Exercise is helpful in managing stress because it not only lowers stress hormones, such as cortisol, but it also encourages your body release endorphins, which function as mood elevators.

 

Continue reading to find out more about cortisol and endorphins and how exercise can help you with these.

 

What are stress hormones and why are they important?

 

Two common stress hormones are adrenaline and cortisol.  When you encounter a situation that you perceive as a threat, your brain signals to your adrenal glands, which prompts them to release certain hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline.

 

Adrenaline elevates your blood pressure, boosts your energy, and increased your heart rate.  Meanwhile, cortisol increases glucose in your bloodstream, while also stilting functions it deems unnecessary, such as the reproductive or digestive system.

 

The adrenal glands also communicate its distress to the brain areas that control motivation, fear, and mood.  

 

Continued stress can lead to a number of issues, including:

  • Anxiety

  • Concentration impairment

  • Depression

  • Digestive problems

  • Headaches

  • Heart attack

  • Heart disease

  • High blood pressure

  • Memory impairment

  • Sleep problems

  • Stroke

  • Weight gain

  • With stress being a risk factor of the above, you should consider ways to reduce stress.  One way is through regular exercise, thereby reducing cortisol and adrenaline, while simultaneously increasing your “feel good” endorphins.

What are endorphins and why are they important?

Simply put, endorphins are chemicals in your brain that act as mood elevators and natural painkillers for your body.  You may have heard of runner’s high and that is essentially what endorphins are.  Endorphins are typically released after lengthy exercises or intense workouts.  Endorphins are responsible for reducing stress, improving how you feel about your well-being, and helps to relieve pain.

 

A few of the noted benefits of endorphins are:

  • Boost self-esteem

  • Improved mood

  • Increased pleasure

  • Lessen inflammation

  • Reduced anxiety

  • Reduced depression

  • Reduced discomfort

  • Reduced pain

  • Reduced stress

  • Support a healthy immune system

  • Support cognitive function and memory

How does exercise affect stress hormones and endorphins?

Regular exercise gives your body the chance to work through “stressful” situations.  As your body becomes more familiar with the exercise and stressors placed on it, it will learn how to more efficiently deal with the stress, thereby reducing adrenaline and cortisone.

 

What is the recommended exercise and the consistency to reduce stress hormones and boost endorphins?

 

Unless you are ill, you should ideally get some form of exercise every day.  This doesn’t mean that you need to do a hardcore workout every day.  This could mean half an hour to 45 minutes of walking or just 20 minutes of vigorous exercise.  Adding in strength training, such as weight lifting, will give you a more balanced exercise program, eventually making all work outs easier for you to do.  

 

Consistent exercise will provide regular reduction of stress hormones, while also encouraging your body to release endorphins regularly. A well rounded structured routine works best, but something is always better than nothing!

 

 

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Detric Smith, CSCS, ACSM Exercise Physiologist, Precision Nutrition Level 1 Coach 

Owner, Results Performance Training

 

P.S- Email us at [email protected] or Text 757 589 7028 to Get a Free consultation + Trial Session. Learn more about our Group Fitness, Small group, or 1 on 1 training services.

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