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Exercise for Stress


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woman running happily, exercise for stress relief






Everyone gets stressed out. In today’s economy if you aren’t stressed then there is probably something wrong with you. Everyday holds new stressors that can affect the way we live, think and act. Although stress, most of the time is bad, it is a good motivational tool that gets us to act, become organized, and get things done.



            Unfortunately, most people don’t think about stress being something to encourage action, but never the less when stress appears, it gets people moving. Stress can come from all aspects of our lives, our work, school, relationships, and the economy. Stress refers to the inability to respond to emotional or physical threats against a person. These threats can be real or imagined but cause several different reactions in people. The normal reaction to stress is the state of alarm, during which the body produces adrenaline for the purpose of fight or flight. Fight or flight is the persons ability to stay and cope with the stressor or to leave and be rid of the stressor completely. If a person stays, the next reaction is to resist the stress and adapt to overcome what is causing the stress. Unfortunately if the stress maintains it will eventually lead to exhaustion at which point the body is unable to maintain function.



            Long-term high stress levels are not good for the body. It can lead to exhaustion, fatigue, tension, inability to think, concentrate or make decisions, nausea, inability to eat, headaches, increased heart rate and blood pressure and several other physiological reactions. A perpetual state of stress can lead someone to become violently ill.



            So do avoid the state of exhaustion it is important to reduce stress levels wherever possible. Normally this is easier said than done. It is hard to reduce stress from areas that are out of your reach such as the economy, your job or school. But there are ways to reduce stress. Most people use unhealthy means of reducing stress such as sex, drugs or alcohol, which at the time seem fun but can lead to additional stress and problems down the road. The best way to reduce stress is through natural means or relaxation. This includes meditation, yoga, massage, and hobbies such as gardening, painting, sewing or through exercise.



            Exercise is the best way to reduce stress because anyone can do it, its healthy for the body, and it is free. You don’t have to go to a gym or take classes to exercise. Exercise helps relax not only the body but the mind as well. When we exercise our body releases endorphins into our systems. Endorphins are neurotransmitters that give us a natural feeling of well-being. Endorphins are usually released into the body during times of excitement, pleasure or pain. So exercise is not only good for the body, it is naturally better for you than drugs or alcohol.

            In addition to endorphins, exercise will clear your head and give you a change of scenery. Exercise also keeps the body healthy so we are able to function during times of high demand. As well as keeping the muscles strong and the body fit. Looking good because of exercise also gives you a sense of pride and a feeling of accomplishment.

            Remember there are all kinds of ways to exercise. There isn’t just one exercise that reduces stress. Some people prefer to go to the gym and use the machines or free weights, that is their choice. But if you don’t like to go to the gym, don’t because it will actually add to your stress if your exercise isn’t something you like to do. If you like to be outdoors, take a walk or a bike ride. If you always wanted to try yoga sign up for a beginners class. Other people prefer to play sports, get a friendly game going. It doesn’t have to be intense or extreme. The idea is to have fun, while reducing your stress and anxiety.