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Feeling stressed? Get active!

Monday, Dec. 17, 2018
female winter exercise

With the change in season, less sunlight in our days, and the holiday season in full swing, it’s common for many of us to experience stress in some way, shape, or form.

Maybe you’re trying to cram some year-end work into your days, maybe you’re running around to do way too much shopping, or maybe you’re overwhelmed with holiday party invitations. All of this before you have to travel or host the family!

There are many different ways you can try to manage your stress at this time of year, from massage therapy to relieve the build-up of tension in your muscles to planning and self-care to prevent yourself from getting overwhelmed.   

However, one the best ways to manage your holiday stress (and stay relatively healthy this season) is with good ol’ fashioned physical activity!

Exercise to manage your physical and mental health

Getting your body moving has the proven physical health benefits of improved heart health and weight management, but it also has a profound impact on feelings of stress.

Exercise causes the release of endorphins from your brain and nervous system. These feel-good hormones act on receptors in your body, resulting in increased alertness or concentration, reduced feelings of fatigue, and even pain relief.

Exercise can also promote relaxation and improve quality of sleep, which all contributes to enhancing your overall mood!

 

Any form of exercise can relieve stress

When it comes to using physical activity as a stress reliever, there are only two things you need to know:

  • Physical activity in any form can be an agent for stress relief. Be it walking, yoga, running, or a high intensity interval training session, positive effects can be felt
  • As little as five minutes of activity can stimulate positive effects to reduce feelings of anxiety. A single, vigorous exercise session can help alleviate stress-related symptoms for hours

When you’re feeling stressed and don’t think you have time to exercise, find the time! Not only will your body thank you, but your mind will too.

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