Article by Rachel Buckingham

Stressed out of your brains?! If you answered yes, then put on your sneakers, fill up your water bottle and get ready to sweat!

Exercise provides many benefits and one of those is reducing stress. Exercise assists in restoring mental focus and well-being as well as helping in chemical stress response.

As much as we try avoiding stress, it’s one of those annoying things that we continue to encounter. Challenges, unfamiliar environments or things outside our comfort zone can cause us stress. During stress our autonomic nervous system and endocrine system increase in respirations and heart rate, blood pressure, energy productions and sensory awareness. These arise from the production of epinephrine, norepinephrine and cortisol.

Chronic stress can suppress immune function and increase risk of disease. Stress can impact on diet, health, sleep, physiological issues and drug use.

A highly-documented remedy for stress is exercise. Exercise can range from going for a walk outside to having a gym session. Not only can this be very cost effective, it also poses huge benefits on both the psychological and physiological level. Physiological effects can include things like weight loss, increase in oxygen intake, increase endorphin release (reducing stress chemicals in the body), regulations of metabolism and energy levels, decreases in muscle induced stress and tension.

Exercising regularly can assist in dealing with clearing the mind, increase in wellbeing and positivity, self-worth and image. Next time you get stressed, take some time for you, take a walk outside, go for a swim, ride a bike or go to the gym. You’ll come back more refreshed, refocused and less stressed!

So, if work, relationships, tests, school, finance or whatever it may be that’s getting you stressed, don’t resort to bottling it up or continuing in that state. Instead, go break a sweat!