Exercise and Stress Relief

There will be times in our lives when we feel stressed – it’s inevitable. Although it’s not something we can completely eradicate, there are things we can do to manage our stress levels. Exercise in particular is great for stress management as it offers physical, mental, and emotional benefits. 

What is stress?

Stress works on a continuum from eustress (the good type) to distress (the bad type) and can be either acute or chronic. Eustress is often pleasurable and beneficial to performance; it might be that we’re a little stressed about a school assignment, so we’re motivated to complete it, or it could be the excited feeling we get before a party.

Distress, on the other hand, is an uncomfortable feeling and leads to a decrease in performance. Acute distress only lasts for short periods of time and often presents as a nervous feeling with a racing heart, butterflies in the stomach, and tense muscles. Chronic distress can last from days to months with symptoms including headaches, digestive difficulties, depression, mood swings, and trouble sleeping.

Physical effects of exercise

Exercise itself elicits physical stress by putting pressure on the body’s musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and metabolic systems. In moderate dosages we are successfully able to handle and adapt to it; the body recovers after each exercise session (yes, recovery is vital!) and comes back a little fitter and stronger. When we engage in regular exercise, the body improves its ability to manage the physical effects of stress during not only exercise, but also day to day living. People who are fitter are therefore able to better cope with physical responses to stress including increased heart rate and blood pressure…

This article was written for Libero Network, I’d love for you to continue reading…

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