If there’s one sure-fire, natural way to bring on relaxation, it would have to be aerobic exercise for stress relief throughout the day. Although it is impossible to completely eliminate stress, exercise is one of the best ways to help you better manage those stressful situations at work, home, school or in any aspect of your life.
Aerobic exercise keeps you physically and mentally fit, therefore better enabling you to fight disease and destress.
Exercise Leads to Improved Endurance Against Stress
It’s been proven that regular exercise enables a person to better manage their stress levels. A huge benefit is that the stress-busting effects of regular aerobic exercise have been found to have an effect, not only right after the session, but flowing throughout the whole day.
One study had healthy students as participants who were asked to complete rest sessions while the other group had moderate exercise designed to be performed within a specific period of time.
Both groups of students were more relaxed initially, but those who underwent exercise sessions were found to have less stress and anxiety for a much longer period compared to non-exercisers. These findings showed that exercise can indeed change a person’s emotional state, making them more capable of enduring any kinds of stressors with greater positivity and composure.
How Aerobic Exercise for Stress Relief Works
Incorporating aerobic or cardio exercises into your lifestyle can definitely help you slash stress on a daily basis. Experts believe that indulging in different forms of exercise such as aerobics or cardio training can help the body to develop improved resistance and better tolerance to stress.
This is because increased aerobic capacity is found to have a direct impact on the ability of the body’s parasympathetic system to activate that “rest and digest” response that paves the way for reduced levels of stress.
By comparison, those people who have low levels of aerobic capacity were found to have a more active sympathetic nervous system that makes them prone to suffering from heightened levels of stress. This is because if your sympathetic nervous system is more active than your parasympathetic nervous system it means that you have a more active and easily triggered fight or flight response, which increases a person’s vulnerability to the ill effects of stress.
Other Health Benefits of Aerobics/Cardio Exercises
It has also been reported that aerobics or cardio training helps lower one’s heart rate even during exposure to psychological stress. So, the same kind of training may also have an added benefit in protecting people from the risks of coronary heart disease.
Research also revealed that most successful athletes possess great ability to tolerate many kinds of stressors. They were also found to have greater resilience against stress and were able to recover from their workouts far more quickly than any other individuals. The same can also be true for the majority of people.
Increased aerobic capacity reduces a person’s risk of suffering from the adverse effects of stress. This of course makes it much easier for one to achieve better health and well-being and feelings of fulfillment and joy.
Exercising is a great way to improve health, feel better and alleviate stress. For some, the very thought of exercising can feel overwhelming and the prospect of engaging in aerobic activity can add to current stress.
The fact is if you engage in exercise, you will feel much more relaxed at the end of it. Working up a sweat can be therapeutic on many levels. Envisioning the source of your stress and then doing something physical to that source, for example shadow-boxing, can be an excellent release. Getting your heart rate up for an extended period enables your brain to release your ‘feel good’ endorphins.
Low Impact Exercise Options
Yoga and Pilates are excellent stress relief forms of exercise; particularly if you suffer from joint and muscle pain. Many people have difficulty with high impact exercise. Most people who go to a yoga class for the first time are shocked at how sore they feel the next day. There seems to be this idea that yoga simply consists of light stretching.
These ancient poses engage numerous muscle groups. Taking slow, deep breaths while holding the yoga poses, helps to facilitate a cleansing process within our body, enabling accumulated toxins to release.
Pilates is excellent for toning and sculpting the muscles. These workouts are considered to be moderate intensity. Not only will you become fitter over time, you will possibly shed some weight too. The pace is fairly slow but the importance is doing the exercises correctly and breathing properly in the process. As you notice your body responding in a positive manner, you will be more inclined to keep these workouts up.
Daily Walks: Easiest Way to Try Aerobic Exercise for Stress Relief
Making time to get outside everyday can make a huge difference in your ability to cope with stress. Reconnecting with fresh air, sunshine and vitamin D, and the vegetation surrounding you is important. Unfortunately, many of us spend no time outdoors anymore. This is a sad human condition. The majority of our ancestors spent their lives farming or growing a garden, tending to livestock and chopping wood. The need to be outside in nature is something that is in our veins. Taking time to smell the flowers and chat with your neighbors are positive ways to alleviate stress.
Walking and any exercise helps to get your circulation flowing. Exercise often clears your mind and leaves you feeling invigorated. Not only will your mood be improved, you will most likely have more patience with your spouse and kids.
When you feel good about yourself and your choices, you will naturally be less stressed. When you feel like you are being proactive in living a healthy lifestyle, you will be proud of yourself and how you have incorporated new positive methods for handling stress.
How have you been able to add daily movement, like low impact walks, or cardio exercise to your life? Share your tips below.