How Does Exercise Reduce Stress?

by | Mental Health, Stress

The Harmful Effects of Stress on Our Bodies and Minds

My neck, my back, it’s an anxiety attack…Stress is harmful to the body both mentally and physically. We all know that exercise is important for our body, and now studies have shown exercise is also important for our mind, our mental health, and reducing stress.

The Negative Physical Symptoms of Stress

77 percent of health concerns including digestive problems, heart disease, and the inability to lose weight, are caused by stress. Have you lost your motivation? That is a sign of depression which can be caused by stress. Stress can cause physical symptoms such as headaches, neck and back pain.

The Negative Hormonal Effects of Stress

Stress increases the hormones adrenaline and cortisol. Adrenaline causes heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure to increase. Cortisol causes glucose, or sugars, in the bloodstream to rise. High cortisol levels are not only unhealthy, but also cause sleep disruption, weight gain, and belly fat. Over time this can have a negative effect on our health.

How Exercise Can Help Reduce Stress

Exercise reduces the stress hormones, adrenaline, and cortisol. Exercise increases the production of dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin which are the “feel good” neurotransmitters in the brain. The release of these “happy hormones” improves our mood, helps us to relax, improves sleep, and reduces stress, depression, and anxiety. While exercising we are, (hopefully,) focused on what we are doing, and this occupies the mind, helping to reduce stress. Any exercise from stretching to running to weightlifting reduces stress. Exercise improves overall well-being, mentally and physically.

How We Can Help You Manage Stress

If you would like help with stress management, make an appointment with one of our certified personal trainers.