Fighting stress with physical activity

Fight stress with physical activity

Aerobic activity on a regular basis is an excellent way to fight stress and release endorphins, which improve your mood and wellbeing at the same time.

Irritability, aches and pain

You can tell when stress is starting to affect your life if you notice you have backache, headaches, insomnia, or high blood pressure, or if you feel especially tired and irritable.

Widespread soreness when you're stressed is caused by stiffening muscles. Your body's posture begins to mirror the tension of your psychological situation, and your muscles begin to lose their elasticity and mobility.

Stress can put pressure on the walls of your arteries too, which constrict, causing high blood pressure. One of the most effective ways to fight stress is with aerobic exercise.

The calming effect of aerobic activity

Just three weekly sessions of good cardiovascular aerobic exercise at 40-60% of your cardiac range can help your blood pressure drop and remain stable, even for many hours after training.

Activities such as running, walking, swimming or cycling have a calming effect due to their excellent rhythmical nature. In the same way, working out on a treadmill can help you manage stress and strong emotions in a positive, healthy way.

Aerobic activity increases the production of endorphins, which induce a feeling of wellbeing whilst reducing the effects of the overproduction of adrenaline in your body.

Which activity should you choose?

Choose an activity that’s not competitive and one you really enjoy to ensure commitment and motivation. You will work out for longer more frequently and gain better results if you look forward to the activity.

If you want to enjoy calm and space, avoid going somewhere crowded such as swimming pools; instead go for a run in the park. Or, if you want to see lots of people and socialise, the gym is perfect.

How often should you work out?

It depends on how much time you have. Even with short sessions, exercising every day is beneficial. At least three exercise sessions a week are generally recommended, but getting as much exercise as possible is better, even if it’s just walking or cycling to work or the shops.

Activities such as running, walking, swimming or cycling have a calming effect due to their excellent rhythmical nature.”