When most people think about starting up on a fitness program, the first benefit that often comes to mind is weight loss, fat loss, or calorie burn. After that, they may start to think about the physical improvements that they’re going to see such as increases in muscle strength and power along with improved cardiovascular endurance and capabilities.
But, a few of the major benefits of exercise that often go overlooked is the stress and anxiety relief that it will provide.
We live in a world where stress is almost a fact of life. There’s often no escaping it – it’s a big part of your everyday existence.
As such, you need to be finding ways to deal with this stress before it starts to do a number on your overall health status. Stress is one of the most detrimental issues to your overall well-being and if you aren’t taking actions to control it, you’ll end up feeling burnt out, run down, fatigued, and your immune system will also suffer. Not to mention that high levels of stress and anxiety can also increase your risk of fat gain, so it’s clearly something that you need to put a stop to.
Let’s look at some of the major ways in which exercise can help you combat stress head on.
The Release Of Endorphins
The first and possibly most powerful way that exercise is going to help you combat stress is with regards to the release of endorphins that you’re going to get as you perform any exercise.
When you perform a workout, your body is going to be releasing these endorphins, which are neurotransmitters in the body that serves to improve your mood, place you in a calmer state, and helps to relieve feelings of anxiety.
Basically, these produce a ‘natural high’ that is similar to the reaction with recreational drugs, but is obviously the healthier alternative. Many runners often report experiencing this high (commonly known as the ‘runners high’), however you can get the release with any form of intense exercise that you’re doing.
Many people do become addicted to this ‘feel good’ state and when they do, exercise becomes a much more automatic and anticipated part of their day.
A Time To ‘Think’ Through Your Problems
The second reason why exercise can help you combat stress is because it gives you a time to zone out and really think through your problems.
Often people use their workouts to block out any distractions and clear their mind. Whether you workout in silence or crank your favorite music, you will likely find that your problems that are causing the stress in the first place seem much less significant after a good workout session.
A Feeling Of Achievement
Finally, the last reason exercise can combat stress is because it’ll give you a feeling of achievement. When you see progress taking place – your body getting stronger and/or leaner, you will feel as though you can achieve what you put your mind to.
This can transfer over to other areas of your life, giving you a greater feeling of being in control and able to deal with those stressors as they arise.
So make sure that you consider exercise as one of the most powerful stress busting strategies in your arsenal. It has so many benefits it simply cannot go overlooked.
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