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Exercise for Reducing Stress

Why is important to reduce your level of stress?

Experiencing stress is common. There are a variety of triggers (e.g. work, social situations and unexpected events) that cause you to psychologically evaluate that you cannot cope with the situation, causing a physical response from the body (e.g. increased heart rate, breathing rate, and sweating) in the form of a ‘flight or fight’ response. It is important to reduce stress, due to the risk of chronic stress negatively impacting physiological health, psychological health, and general well-being.

Chronic stress is reported to induce the following negative health conditions: Mental Health Problems

Psychiatric disease onset such as depression and anxiety is associated with stress-induced dysfunction of the medial prefrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain responsible for cognition and emotion regulation[1]. Counseling coupled with stress reduction exercises is recommended to decrease the impact of stress-induced mental health decline.

Read more: 5 Exercises You Can Do At Home To Help Burn Stubborn Belly Fat

Unintended Weight Changes

Chronic stress is responsible for instigating negative emotion, which stimulates insulin and glucocorticoids which increases cravings for calorie-rich food[2]. This can result in the development of a binge eating disorder followed by rapid weight gain and the risk of obesity. Reliable treatments are available to assist those struggling with excessive weight gain. Additionally, there is an increased risk that unintended weight loss may occur, due to increased energy metabolism and reduced digestion functionality associated with being in a high-stress state[3].

Burnout Syndrome

Burnout syndrome describes a state of exhaustion due to sustained, intense, psychological, emotional and physical overload[4]. Burnout Syndrome is common in athletes that train excessively and become physically exhausted where the result is a decline in performance and well-being. The same can happen with overworking where incurred prolonged, severe psychological stress combined with a lack of sleep or fatigue can cause extreme exhaustion. Sufficient rest and lifestyle changes are essential to recovery following burnout.

Sexual Dysfunction

Sexual dysfunction is common in both men and women that experience stress. In men, erectile dysfunction (ED) can occur[5]. It is important for men experiencing ED to change their lifestyle to reduce stress or source safe reliable treatments if immediate stress relief is not attainable. For women, stress can reduce sexual sensation and arousal due to difficulty concentrating and relaxing[6].

Skin Problems and Hair Loss

Recent research reports that chronic stress is associated with the worsening of skin conditions such as eczema[7]. Hair loss can also be a consequence of high stress, however, it is suggested that this may be due to more traumatic psychological stressors rather than daily stress triggers[8]. Hair loss can be treated with effective treatment from a reliable source, such as Pharmica Online Pharmacy.

How can exercise reduce your level of stress?

Exercise is reported to decrease stress-induced anxiety and is positively associated with improvements in well-being[9]. Even low-moderate intensity exercise conducted for as short as two weeks is associated with decreasing anxiety sensitivity; which can contribute to significant stress reduction[10]. Furthermore, exercise stimulates the release of endorphins which are responsible for inducing feelings of happiness and euphoria which can positively improve mental health[11]. 

Exercise is also important for ensuring sleep quality, where stress-induced fatigue can be mediated and in turn reduce consequent stress.

What is the recommended level of exercise necessary to reduce your stress?

Low to moderate-intensity exercise is recommended, the minimum exercise does can be as little as 20 minutes per week[11]. However, for more significant results, increased frequency and intensity are recommended, such as 30 minutes per day for 4/5 days per week.

The mode of exercise should be in line with your interests and can consist of a wide range of activities such as running, cycling, swimming, circuit training and resistance training. It is advisable to start off with a low intensity before increasing either work rate or duration to avoid fatigue or injury. 30 minutes 3/4 days per week might be practically difficult; usually, it is more manageable to increase the duration or intensity slightly and implement exercise less frequently (e.g. 3 sessions of 60mins moderate exercise per week, or shorter duration but higher intensity) to enable sufficient rest and manageability relative to other commitments.

It is very important to equip yourself for exercise, especially if you are new to the activity or exercise intensity. You don’t need to spend a lot of money, but depending on activity; activewear, earphones and stable footwear may be useful to motivate and prepare you.

What are the other effective stress-busting solutions?

There is a range of other approaches to reducing stress[12], which are definitely worth trying either as an alternative to exercising or possibly in combination:

Meditation - This only takes 5-10 minutes to effectively reduce stress. Often overlooked, meditation can be a very effective coping strategy.

Lifestyle changes - Obvious... but sometimes not that easy. If something is causing you to experience chronic stress you may need to make a behavioral change such as working less, going to bed earlier or identifying a coping strategy. Being proactive is crucial.

Medication - may be prescribed by a doctor to assist with symptoms of stress such as anxiety and depression.

Counseling - Therapy can help with relief from symptoms of mental health diseases such as anxiety and depression brought about by stress. It may offer an effective solution if other strategies are unsuccessful.

1 comment:

Pure Bella Vita said...

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