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Exercise to Relieve Stress and Anxiety

By March 1, 2015November 19th, 2020Blogs, Dr. Jenny Yip

It is important to know that the benefits of consistent exercise increases ones’ health and general well being.  It is still however, very difficult to get people to workout on a regular basis. Often times, my clients say they are too stressed to workout, however the fact is, they are probably too stressed not to work out. Exercise releases hormones into the body that allow people to bring balance into their lives and focus better on everything they do.
There’s no doubt that physical exercise has a positive effect on stress and can calm the mind and relax the body. Exercise releases endorphins, the body’s “feel good hormones,” in as little as 20 minutes a day, and can change your entire outlook on life. You must also remember not to push it too far, and if that happens please contact Fullerton Physical Therapy.

When one is looking for an exercise, it is important to find one that they will enjoy, one shouldn’t look too far outside of what may interest that individual. People have different environments that cause stress: work, home, traffic, etc. For example, if you work on your feet all day you might benefit more from a stretching-based workout, because you are constantly contracting your muscles, which makes you tense. But if a person is more sedentary and, sits most the day, they might need more of a strength-based program to keep your muscles from atrophying (deteriorating). The most important thing is that one start.  The key is finding something that keeps one motivated and thereby attaining desired results.
This all depends on what you can consistently “commit” to.  Remember some exercise is better than none at all, and exercise can be fun.  I strongly suggest at least 20 minutes per day of some physical activity.  In the end your body will love you for it.
Here are several ways that consistent exercise will de-stress your life.
Anger Management: Research has documented the important role that expression or repression of anger and hostility plays in disease progression. Physical activity can be a healthy catharsis for this most caustic of emotions. It can provide a socially acceptable means of physically releasing negative energy. No matter what you do, be it kickboxing or yoga; the physical release of energy appears to dissipate feelings of anger in a positive way.
Reduction of Muscular Tension: During stress, muscles contract and lose their normal resting muscle tone. Bouts of physical activity allow muscles to work, thereby releasing stored energy and allowing muscle groups to return to their normal resting potential. This action also reduces discomfort associated with muscular tension, like tension headaches, arthritic joint pain, backaches, etc.
Increased Awareness: Physically fit individuals tend to become more in tune with their bodies. Thus, they are able to detect subtle changes in their physiology that they were previously unaware of, such as breathing patterns, reactions to diet and exercise, quality of sleep, etc. This new awareness allows people to be able to avoid the physiological process of stress before it can cause problems.
Improvement in Sleep: A symptom of stress overload can be the inability to get adequate rest. A fatigued individual is less able to perform at a high level. Exercise has been shown to be very effective in helping some people fall asleep easily and sleep more soundly.
Stronger Immune System: Individuals that are in better shape tend to have a stronger immune system. When fit people become ill or injured, they will demonstrate more stamina and greater resiliency to fighting the discomfort. They will also recover more quickly.