#StressAwarenessDay – How Exercise Can Help

Whether it’s due to work or an upcoming exam, we’ve all been stressed from time to time but for some it’s a daily occurrence and can become overwhelming. Fortunately, no matter how minor or major, there are ways to combat stress and help subside the feeling – as a gymnastics club we feel exercise plays a pivotal role in this.

Today is Stress Awareness Day and to show how exercise can help we’ve shared five tips on how participating can calm your worries and clear your mind.

Relieves Tension

Taking part in sport can relax blood vessels, reduce heart rates and blood pressure. Easing these down through exercise or stretching can have positive effects on the body and mind resulting in a more relaxed physical and mental wellbeing.

If you’re not feeling a work out, no worries. Meditating a few minutes a day or even taking time out to breathe deeply can take away tension.

Produces Endorphins

Any form of exercise will stimulate the body to produce chemicals called endorphins. These are released into the brain and give a feel-good sensation known as a “runners high”.

Aerobic work outs are the best for generating this natural pain killer and the more upbeat the work out, the better the feeling!

Increases Self-esteem

Whether part of a team or focused independently, you can improve self-esteem by working towards a goal. Whatever you achieve, from completing your first push up to winning a competition, gives you that feel good factor and encourages further goal breaking.

Start off by setting mini achievable targets and as you grow with confidence push yourself to break bigger barriers both in sport and life.

Improves sleep and creates better habits

We’re all guilty of not getting our 8 hours but this can lead to anxiety and further sleep deprivation. This has knock on effects to everyday life as sleep is linked to your sense of well-being – the less you get the worse you feel.

Taking part in sport has instant effects as it takes the focus from what’s on your mind and tires you out ready for a good night’s sleep. However, the long-term benefits are just as rewarding. A regular exercise routine will push you to adopt healthier habits and encourages your body to yearn things that are good for it – sleep, good food and water to name a few. As you overcome these healthy changes your body’s overall fitness continues to improve and becomes effective at handling stress levels.

Socialising

We’re better connected than ever but more and more of us are feeling lonely in turn increasing stress and anxiety. Socialising in an environment you feel comfortable in relieves stress by releasing a hormone called oxytocin which promotes relaxation.

Joining a team or club and surrounding yourself with people who have similar interests gives you the opportunity to make new friends. Even if it’s in a non-competitive setting, involvement has been associated with social acceptance which can be further nurtured though support from coaches and team members.

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