Do you feel that sickening, sinking feeling in your stomach all the time? Does your job or even your drive to work make you want to scream? That’s the ultimate definition of stress. Stress can be bad or good. Stress sends out hormones that prepare the body to run or fight and if you’re in imminent danger, that’s good. However, unlike early man, today stress can include many things and running or fighting doesn’t resolve any of them. Your body is left in the fight or flight state, which can cause damage to your body. You can burn off the hormones and get back to normal with these exercises that relieve stress.
Here’s the good news.
Scientists have discovered that by working out, you can burn off the hormones that create the stress and replace them with ones that make you feel good. Weight lifting and strength training workouts are a good way to start. Studies show that weight training can reduce the stress you feel and burn off those health damaging hormones, like cortisol, which is linked to abdominal fat. Studies show that exercise, like weight lifting, can relieve stress, lift depression and clear the mind. You can use resistance bands, too. These are inexpensive and easy to store.
Doing cardio will get your heart pumping and mimic the act of running.
It’s the fight or flight response that comes from a stressful situation, so what could be more appropriate than a run or other cardio workout? You can simply run at a steady state pace or make it even more beneficial for fitness and weight loss by adjusting the speed and intensity of the run frequently. It’s called HIIT—high intensity interval training. You run at top speed and intensity for a short period, such as a minute and then revert to a recovery pace for equal or slightly longer.
You don’t have to shed one drop of sweat to get some relief.
If you’re not somewhere you can run, jump or lift weights, you still can get stress relief. Have you ever noticed how people pace when they’re nervous? They’re helping to relieve stress. Just walking works. You can even modify your walk to make it a hit workout. Yoga and tai chi are also good at relieving stress, since both are considered meditation in motion. The gentle stretching and mindfulness and mental quiet make it a good, “no sweat” option.
- When you workout regularly, not only will you burn off stress hormones and clear your head, you’ll also get in shape and improve your posture. Both can make you feel more confident and better equipped to handle stress.
- Do something fun to get rid of stress. Have you ever considered kickboxing, martial arts or regular boxing as a supplemental workout? You’ll definitely mimic the fighting action.
- Even though most people think that stress is more prevalent for those that work, retired seniors actually have lots of stress, too. For some people, particularly seniors, stress often turns to depression. Working out is even more important the older and more isolated you are.
- Get outside and do your workout. If the weather allows, go barefoot. There’s a theory that grounding, letting the soles of your feet in direct contact with the ground, can add health benefits and reduce stress.
For more information, contact us today at Reggie C Fitness