The Effects of Stress on our Bodies:
When under stress or in a stressful situation our bodies go into “fight or flight” mode to prepare itself. We release a mix of hormones and chemicals, adrenaline, cortisol and nor-epinephrine to help us prepare for the action of “fight or flight” to get us out of our stressful situation. Even though we are not planning on fighting anyone or physically running away from a situation (although sometime we wish we could) our bodies still end up releasing these hormones.
If we do not have a healthy outlet for stress our bodies end up being in a continual state of stress. High levels of adrenaline, cortisol and nor-epinephrine in our body can have a host of negative side effects on us. Sometimes we do not even realize that our chronic headache, backache, insomnia, muscle weakness, fatigue and more actually stem from stress.
How Exercise Can Help Reduce Stress:
When we workout, getting our heart rate up for a sustained amount of time (The American Heart Association recommends 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity 3 days per week) our body naturally releases endorphins into our bloodstream which help us feel happy and relaxed. Moving our muscles and joints also helps us loosen up and release built up tension in our bodies. This helps us to relax not only
mentally with the release of endorphins but also physically.
Our bodies were made to move and sometimes the achiness or tightness we feel is a way for our body to communicate to us that we actually need to be moving more and not less. It can feel counter-intuitive for those of us who suffer from arthritis pain to move around more, but exercise has been proven to help ease pain and stiffness caused by arthritis. Exercise increases our blood flow and circulation to our joints and muscles helping to reduce joint pain.
Make Exercise Your “End Game”
Build a routine you can sustain and want to stick with long term. The benefits of regular exercise on our bodies are endless from the external effects of toning our body and defining new or hidden muscles to the ones we don’t see. Exercise increases our physical strength, endurance, flexibility, helps to increase your energy, decreases stress, helps us sleep better, not to mention increasing your heart
strength and helps you reduce your risk of heart related conditions, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and more.
So leave the excuses behind, the stiff back behind, your bum knee, your lack of time… whatever it is holding you back and get moving! Just think to yourself no one ever said “I regret doing that workout.” What you do hear is people saying they regret skipping their workout.