Photo by janeb13
Just the thought of exercise alone can sometimes stress us out. Sometimes we’re tired, busy, or just plain unmotivated. In times like these, it’s helpful to remember why exercise is so important in the first place: stress management.
1. Exercise Improves Your Mood
How does exercise improve your mood? It’s mostly thanks to those trusty endorphins we all know and love.
If you don’t already know about endorphins, all you need to know is that it’s our brain’s feel-good chemical–and our brains love to release this chemical when we’re enjoying a healthy dose of bodily movement.
And in addition to the release of these feel-good chemicals, exercising helps you sleep better, which also plays a major role in maintaining and improving your mental and emotional health. Exercise does wonders for our minds and even has the power to fight off depression and anxiety.
2. Exercise Helps You Focus On the Present Moment
A big part of stress management is being mindful and focusing on the present moment. Certain forms of exercise can help center you and bring your attention back to your body and breathing and, in turn, help clear your mind.
Yoga is a perfect example of meditation through exercise and running has often been described as “meditation in motion.” Swimming is another great example since it’s famous for the soothing effects that come from being immersed in water.
3. Exercise Helps You Build Relationships
Humans are social beings, so it’s only natural that positive human connection alone has the power to reduce stress levels. Exercising with friends is a great combo for getting your socializing time and your fitness time in all in one go.
Whether you’re exercising with old friends or using group activities as a way to meet new people, you’ll benefit from getting fit with others. Group exercise can motivate through competition, foster a sense of connection through teamwork, and increase your threshold for discomfort.
4. Exercise Builds Confidence
When you exercise regularly, you’ll likely notice a change in the way you carry yourself. You’ll feel better, look better, and change the way you face the challenges in your life. You’ll even improve your posture almost automatically.
Exercising helps builds your confidencein many ways, which leads to a wonderful cycle of feeling more confident, exercising more because of it, and continuing to grow more confident than you’ve ever been before.
So if you’re ever feeling too tired, too busy, or if you simply can’t be bothered, remember these four huge ways in which exercise is a cure-all for your stress-related ailments. Find a fun way to exercise that you know you’ll be able to keep coming back to and work at it each day. When you do, you’ll likely find that exercise is the best medicine you’ll ever have.
Travis White is a foodie and loves to cook healthy dishes. At LearnFit.org, he enjoys writing about how to live a healthy lifestyle while focusing on mind, body, and soul.