Did you know that exercise is a great stress-reliever? Exercise is proven to decrease the production of stress hormones and counteract the body’s stress responses. It also can help to reduce blood pressure. Exercise increases endorphins, which are the brain’s “feel-good” neurotransmitters. A good workout can also improve mood, decrease mild depression and anxiety. Many people who exercise report higher levels of self-confidence. Completing a workout or walking 10,000 steps per day gives that sense of accomplishment, that “I did it!” feeling.
A good workout can also take your mind off the day’s events and stresses. It may even help to see those irritations in a little different perspective. Exercising at the end of the workday helps to blow off steam. Most of us have carried work stresses home with us. The results are usually not good. We may turn those frustrations towards our family or to a pint of ice cream. This is one of the reasons gyms are busy at 5:30 in the afternoon! It is a positive way to re-group before we head home for the day.
Any type of exercise can be beneficial. Even a short 10 minute walk can help to clear the mind. If you are not exercising regularly, start out slowly. Move gradually into a more intense program. Find an activity that you enjoy doing and make time for it. Your body and your mind will thank you for it!