Most people know exercising helps you stay in shape and maintain good health, but it can be hard to find time for a walk or jog in your daily routine. What if you found out that exercising could actually help relieve stress and put an extra pep in your step?
Exercise signals the brain to produce chemicals called endorphins. When they’re released it helps relax your body and relieve tension.
Exercising also helps the body by improving blood flow and enhancing blood’s functions. When your body feels good, your brain feels good.
Everyone encounters stress, but UNG student Meghan Sullivan says she knows how to handle it.
“I exercise at least four times a week, usually five,” Sullivan said. “It makes me feel good. I sleep better. I handle situations better. It even helps me plan and organize my everyday life. I was so stressed out the first years of college, but running 30 minutes when I’m stressed really helps. I have noticed that I have also made better grades.”
According to the American Psychological Association, “[Exercise] forces the body’s physiological systems — all of which are involved in the stress response — to communicate much more closely than usual … This workout of the body’s communication system may be the true value of exercise; the more sedentary we get, the less efficient our bodies in responding to stress.”
That may explain why Sean Smith, a 24-year-old workout junkie, agrees with Sullivan.
“I know this is crazy to say, but I believe exercising is the key to being happy and successful in everything you do in life,” Smith said. “Your body needs a good workout so you can be the best you can.”
Here are a few tips for fitting exercise into your day:
- Set your alarm and get up early. Start your day with a 30-minute walk or jog.
- Make it a date. Take your friends or significant other out for a workout date instead of going out for food.
- Do 50 sit-ups during commercial breaks if you’re watching TV.
- Park in the spot farthest from the entrance at the mall or grocery store.
- Take the time you spend on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and exercise instead.
These are some easy ways to incorporate exercise into your daily life in order to reduce stress and feel better all around. Be creative. Your body will love you for it.