Woohoo!! It’s almost Friday and thank goodness for that, right!?!
The holiday season is upon us and unfortunately, it can be a difficult and stressful time for some people, so today I’m bringing back a post that I had originally written as a guest post for Jenny & Nancy @ Gold Standard Women a while ago that centers around stress and how exercise can help.
Stress…we all have it! It’s an unfortunate part of life and can be caused from a whole host of reasons — the holidays, job loss, deadlines, owning a home, death of a loved one, illnesses, money problems, starting a new job…just to name a few.
Stress can undoubtedly wreak havoc on your body, so it’s important to understand and recognize the signs and symptoms before it completely takes over your life:
Frequent headaches, jaw clenching or pain
- Insomnia, nightmares, disturbing dreams
- Heartburn, stomach pain, nausea
- Sudden attacks of life threatening panic
- Chest pain, palpitations, rapid pulse
- Increased anger, frustration, hostility
- Depression, frequent or wild mood swings
- Increased frustration, irritability, edginess
- Constant tiredness, weakness, fatigue
- Increased or decreased appetite
There are many ways to ease the effects of stress, but the one that I’d like to focus on is EXERCISE.
In my personal experience, I’ve found regular (key word) exercise to be a life saver after experiencing a stressful day or situation. When I go to a Zumba class, go for a run or do any other type of physical activity, I quickly begin to feel better and my mood completely changes. Exercise is my way to release all that pent up energy and frustration from the day and just LET IT GO! It pumps up those feel good endorphins in your brain and helps your forget about the negative parts of your day. When I’m engaged in my workout, I just focus on that moment and nothing else — I listen to the music, concentrate on the choreography and focus on the blood pumping through my veins, but most of all, I’m having fun (this is especially true when in a group exercise class or working out with friends) and not letting anything else bother me. Exercise is my sanity.
Not only that, stress can bring on sickness and vice versa, sickness can bring on stress. Regular exercise provides a general sense of well-being and increases your health, so it can help mitigate the effects of stress and lower your chance at illness. If this isn’t a reason to get moving…then I don’t know what is!
So, whether it’s doing aerobics, yoga, running or taking a walk, do something good for your body and your mind — just get moving and feel that stress melt away!
What’s the main source of stress in your life?
What activities do you do to relieve stress?
What’s your favorite form of exercise?