up in here..up in…
Stress. Everyone has it and in some sense everyone needs stress. Sometimes that is what motivates you to get something done that you might have otherwise not done. But stress has its definite, scientifically proven downside. Higher stress levels are linked to high blood pressure, which is linked to heart disease which is a leading cause of death. Luckily, there is a simple solution to helping to decrease the stress in our lives. Exercise.
I have heard it said that a bad day can lead to a good workout. I can definitely say that this is true. I can’t tell you how many times a run or a hard workout helps bring me down after a stressful day at work. Or, that kickboxing class that got me through a tough break up. Keep in mind that hard, sweaty exercise is not the only solution to stress. Yoga can also make you feel brand new after dealing with a tough situation. The point is, taking some time out, just to focus on yourself that makes you stronger in the long run is never a bad thing.
Need further evidence of how exercise helps with stress levels? Here are a few facts:
- Exercise pumps up endorphins. Exercise increases production of those “make me feel good inside” neurotransmitters called endorphins. You can get high on your own supply. This explains-in part at least- the euphoric feelings you get after running a 5K or completing that 25 mile bike ride.
- Its walking/running/ jumping meditation. Ever just zone out when working out? Come up with an idea in the middle of hitting a few balls at the driving range? Yeah, exercise can do that to ya.
- It makes you feel sexy. I mean, sometimes, some exercises can make you feel a bit foolish (Thighmaster exercises in front of a co-ed group of people, anyone?). You may even fall or make funny noises when doing them. But..it DOES get the blood pumping and you do feel good when you can open that jar or when your significant other can’t keep their hands off of your former problem area that is turning into a nice asset.