Get Active to Reduce Stress
January has been called “the Monday morning of months.” It’s easy to get swept up in a bad headspace because of the shorter days and colder temperatures. However, exercise can be a great natural remedy to help combat that. Here are a few ways that exercise helps reduce stress, both biologically and psychologically.
Often known as the “happy hormone,” why wouldn’t you want to do whatever it takes to get more of those produced? According to MayoClinic, “Physical activity [helps] bump up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Although this function is often referred to as a runner’s high, any aerobic activity, such as a rousing game of tennis or a nature hike, can contribute to this same feeling.” Have you ever heard people say that they just “feel off” if they don’t get their workout in? They are actually on to something!
Leads to Better Sleep
Often, the secret cause of stress is how you start and end your day. The quality of your sleep directly affects the quality of your mental health. Johns Hopkins Medicine notes, “Recent research indicates that exercise decreases sleep complaints and insomnia in patients. The effects of aerobic exercise on sleep appear to be similar to those of sleeping pills.” Unlike sleeping pills, exercise also helps improve your skeletal and muscular health as well. So, it seems like a no-brainer, in terms of making your decision, to us.
Provides You With Something to Look Forward to
Now that we’ve tackled the biological elements of how exercise can reduce stress, let’s go into the more psychological aspects. To start off, there’s nothing like having an element of your daily routine to look forward to. A therapist quoted in The Huffington Post stated, “During particularly stressful moments in time…. it can be more beneficial to have something to look forward to.” While we are physical therapists, we’ll leave it to the mental health therapists on this one. However, we can attest that having a workout to look forward to is one of the best ways to turn around a stressful day.
It Just Feels Good
We don’t know how else to describe it other than that. It just feels good to get a great workout in. It starts your day off on the right foot and gets your brain out of whatever fog it might be in. CNet is on the same page as us saying, “There are many other ways exercise makes us happier — by lowering stress levels, reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation, and helping people relieve anxiety and depression, among other benefits.” Exercise just makes you feel good, plain and simple.
We hope we have convinced you to make exercise a part of your daily routine. It may just be the secret to getting you out of whatever funk you’re currently in.