You know that exercising burns body fat; but exercise reduces stress too, lowering your cortisol levels, the fat-storing hormone responsible for the accumulation of abdominal fat that just won't budge, even with the right nutrition. And there's something else that you must know about specific stress relief activities, emotional health, exercise and depression. Read on.
As you notice immediately when you try it for yourself, exercising boosts your energy levels and revs up your metabolism, helping you burn more fat faster - this is long known...
But now, the whole medical community and alternative health experts agree that, in addition to all its physical benefits, exercise reduces stress in a BIG way, offsetting most of the high cortisol symptoms.
Beyond improving your cardiovascular system and lowering your blood pressure (hence greatly reducing the risk of a number of serious diseases), exercise relieves stress stored in your muscles and internal organs. Plus, it unclutters and de-stresses your mind.
In fact, exercise is one of the best strategies for managing stress and reducing cortisol levels naturally, without any side effects.
More than that, all studies on exercise and depression are demonstrating that exercising greatly improves another element responsible for those excess pounds, your emotional health.
Just choose the workouts that are most fun for you and your mood will soar... You'll feel energized, joyful and full of life!
These are just a few of the physical and psychological benefits of exercise.
It's actually easy to understand...
...when you know its basic mechanics.
Very simplified, the stress response starts a number of chemical reactions in your body, preparing you for "fight-or-flight" - as a way to deal with danger.
Nature created this specific stress response as a short-term fix, so you could deal with whatever danger threatened you by either fighting it or running from it.
Unfortunately, modern life is not as simple as that.
You can’t run away from most of the stressors that are driving you up the wall, neither can you fight them physically.
The stressors are constant.
They are everywhere.
There doesn’t seem to be any place or time in today's world when you can let go of worry, anger, frustration, hostility, anxiety, and depression.
But exercise relieves all this stress by increasing the production of endorphins (the "feel-good" neurotransmitters) and natural pain killers in your body, which gives you a rush, or a "high" - in a good way ;-)
As you focus your mind on the specific physical activity that you do, any irritations and frustrations gradually dissolve. The feeling of helplessness changes into confidence. Your whole emotional landscape changes rapidly, leaving you balanced, centered and fully empowered.
...a pleasurable outlet, an enjoyable "break time" - just like the other fun ways to relieve stress.
Try it and you'll see for yourself how regular physical activity dissipates negative feelings, sublimates anger and irritability, increases your self-esteem making you feel good not only physically (by burning fat and getting you back into shape), but emotionally and mentally as well.
Plus, the increased energy and self-confidence you gain from exercise is making you more outgoing and social, which in itself adds to the psychological benefits of exercise.
And there’s more.
Exercise reduces stress and your stress-related symptoms like sleep problems, sugar cravings, anxiety, brain fog (by improving blood flow to the brain), headaches, low immunity, premature menopause, low libido – we’ve already talked about many of these and the dire effects of stress on health.
But here's the secret: you should pick an activity that you really enjoy and keep doing it regularly a few times per week. You will not only see those pounds melt; your stress is going to be a thing of the past allowing you to enjoy a full and vital life!
Remember, exercise reduces stress not only emotionally...
It gives you a little time to yourself, away from your responsibilities and the constant demands everyday life places upon you. It gives you some pleasurable solo time away from work, kids, and the daily grind helping you get your head back in order...
It's like playtime all over again!
But again, the secret is to pick a type of exercise that you really enjoy.
So, are you ready to experiment with some fun stress relief activities?
You may want to check out our collection of stress-relievers that are also some of the best exercises to lose weight quickly.