It’s no secret that life can be stressful. Over time, this stress can begin to interfere with your health if not dealt with. Now, we know that working out is probably one of the last things on your mind after a long day of work, school, taking care of the kids, or all of the above. Trust us, we’ve all been there, but did you know that working out can actually help relieve stress?
Exercise to Reduce Stress Levels
Exercise boosts endorphins, which are your body’s “feel good chemicals.” These chemicals will combat stress and help you to feel happier, healthier, and more positive than ever.
A blood-pumping workout also increases the flow of oxygen throughout your body which will not only help you feel more energetic, but also more focused, and ready to take on whatever the day has in store for you.
While exercise has the ability to increase energy levels, when it comes time to go to bed you won’t have any trouble falling asleep and staying asleep! A good night’s rest will greatly reduce your stress levels. Remember to turn off or put away all electronics, at least one hour prior to bedtime. This will allow you to easily fall into a deep, sound sleep.
Tips for Managing Stress
Aside from exercise, there are also several other healthy ways to reduce stress and anxiety.
As women, we have a lot of daily responsibilities. While life can be extremely hectic at times, it is imperative that you take at least a few minutes to yourself, each day. You can spend this time meditating, practicing yoga, reading, taking a bubble bath, or getting a massage! All of these activities can help you relax and unwind.
You may also find that talking with friends or family, even if just for a few minutes a day, takes some of that weight off of your shoulders. A bonus to this is that communicating with your loved ones may also help relieve some of their stress, as well. Friends and family that laugh together, de-stress together.
Another extremely helpful way to make your life a little less chaotic is to make a daily to-do list. I’m talking about actually writing things down. If you are able, think about the week ahead in advance. Prioritizing your time will make life much simpler. I’m not saying that you should procrastinate, but if something doesn’t absolutely need be done today, save it for a day that is a little less busy. Don’t forget to include your exercise routines in these lists, so that you never miss a workout again!
Perhaps one of the most effective tips for managing stress, is to just breathe. When you get stressed out, your blood vessels constrict, your heart rate quickens, and breathing speeds up. If you notice this happening to you, breathe in deeply through your nose, and out through your mouth. This will help you to relax and spread a sense of calm throughout your body.
Make no mistake, exercise is one of the best things that you can do to minimize stress. If you’re stressed out, plan your exercise as early in the day as you can. This will energize you, and help you to feel focused and ready for the day. If you can’t exercise until the evening, practice the stress management tips from above until you can get to the gym. Once you realize how good and clear-headed you feel after exerting yourself, you’ll never want to skip the gym again!