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Stress Advice - Exercise Relieves Stress

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Regular Physical Exercise is a Great Way to Fight Stress

Does exercise reduce stress? Those who exercise regularly know how wonderfully relaxed exercise can make you feel. Taking up a physical exercise program on a regular basis can be absolutely invaluable in helping you to fight stress.

How Exercise Reduces Stress

Exercise reduces stress in several ways. Physical exertion helps you to release tension in your body through the use of your muscles. Exercise relieves stress by producing increased levels of endorphins. These are the chemicals produced by the brain that make you feel good! They also increase your tolerance to pain and regulate your appetite. Aerobic exercise increases your lung capacity allowing you to breathe more effectively and getting oxygen to the brain. Your blood circulates more quickly, your energy levels increase and your stamina and immunity is boosted.

Those harmful stress chemicals which are released during times of fear and anxiety (as part of the fight or flight response) are used up in the manner intended (physical exertion as would have been involved in fighting or fleeing) so they are not left rampaging around the body causing damage and illness. It has also been shown that fitter people are likely to respond better to stressful situations.

You simply feel so much better when you exercise. Exercise helps to clear the mind of its negative emotions and daily chatter - you concentrate on something other than the problems of your day which are often forgotten by the time you have finished exercising and are basking in the afterglow. In the clarity of mind induced by exercise, you may even find the answers and solutions to your problems through insights arising from the subconscious.

See for yourself how exercise reduces stress. It doesn't have to be a chore. Exercise can be fun and pleasurable. Don't pick something that you will hate when there is so much to choose from. Find an exercise that you will enjoy and want to keep doing regularly. Here are some ideas:

Walking, Jogging, Yoga, Tai-Chi, Martial Arts, Bowling, Skiing, Boarding, Skating, Cycling, Aerobics, Swimming, Aqua aerobics, Rowing, Sailing, Dancing, Walking, Skipping, Tennis, Netball, Lacrosse, Football, Cricket, Rugby, Rounders, Golf, Wii Fit, Squash, Badminton, Basket ball, Pilates, Table tennis, Horse riding.

All exercise relieves stress to a point although aerobic exercise is the best form of stress relief. Exercising outdoors is especially beneficial where you can breathe in fresh air and enjoy stunning scenery but, of course, this may not apply to everyone. And that good feeling lasts even after the exercise has stopped. You may also consider becoming a member of a sports club so that you can also improve your social activities and add in the friendship dimension. Social activity is yet another excellent stress coping mechanism.

Make sure that you start off any exercise program gently and build it up slowly. Too much too soon will be a drain on your motivation and could cause injury. Aim to build up to at least 30 minutes exercise 3 times per week. You must make sure that you consult with your doctor first if you have any doubts about whether you are fit enough to begin an exercise program. You must take responsibility for your own health and well-being.

If you are looking for stress relief, I would definitely advise making exercise a part of your stress coping strategies and your quest for joy and happiness in life.

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