Being ‘stressed out’ is a common phenomenon in modern life, but there are many ways to combat stress and feel more relaxed. One of the most significant ways is by doing regular exercise.
Are you stressed out?
Saying “I'm stressed out" has become a common expression that captures a greater truth: When we need to continuously respond to situations that are perceived as dangers, it increases alertness and the body ends up losing efficiency in the long run. So it becomes necessary to adopt strategies to recover and make the body stronger and more resistant.
How stress affects the body
Stress is determined by any phenomenon that disturbs your state of equilibrium. The body responds to stressful stimuli such as traffic jams, busy shopping centres, hectic workplaces by generating an impact at a subconscious level to protect it such as increased heart rate and an increased level of attention. When the stimulus is repeated, resistance happens resulting in a release of cortisol into the bloodstream. Cortisol is also called the ‘stress hormone’ because it is one of the chemical mediators of the response to stress and it triggers a cascade of sensations that change the body’s metabolism. If you are unable to eliminate or avoid the stressful situation, you might experience a phase of exhaustion, which can affect the body somatically and psychologically.
Exercise helps to reduce stress
It is very important to combat stress and one of the most common and least expensive ways is through physical activity. By moving more, the brain produces more endorphins; these molecules are neurotransmitters that target specific areas of the brain, generating pleasure and relief. Through exercise, you trigger mechanisms that may be similar to the use of certain drugs; even chocolate helps to produce endorphins.
Exercise helps to lessen depression
Exercise is a great way to fight depression (Saeed, 2010) and other psychological diseases, which are on the increase due to the hectic pace of modern life. Running in the park, a ride in the hills, or a workout in the gym are great ways to combat stress and depression. Taking time out of normal day-to-day activities is important for your overall wellbeing.