Stress and anxiety are feelings that affect everyone in their day to day lives. The difficulty is; how do we manage stress with exercise? Thankfully, there are many benefits to doing regular exercise that have helped me, our clients here at PGPT and many others in beating stress. Here are 5 ways that you can use exercise to manage and lower your stress:
The Natural High
A common misconception people have about sport and exercise is that they are, in themselves, stressful activities. While competitive sports can be nerve-racking, this is mostly down to excitement and adrenaline, which is something that a lot of people enjoy feeling. Exercise in general is known to release a variety of natural painkillers and reward chemicals in the body such as serotonin and dopamine. The natural ‘high’ felt from these chemicals can create a feeling of euphoria and happiness that is a great way to help manage stress and raise your energy levels.
Lower Reliance on Caffeine
The increased alertness resulting from sport & exercise is an excellent natural substitute for your daily caffeine intake. Caffeine is an artificial ‘top-up’ of stimulation, whereas the energy you feel from exercise is completely natural. Prolonged caffeine consumption increases your resting heart rate, which can create the feeling of stress. If you want to manage stress with exercise, having your heart pumping from a morning jog rather than a morning espresso is a great way of expending energy and staying alert without raising stress levels. While PGPT’s primary aim is to provide effective exercise programmes, we also help our clients take control of their nutrition for a lower reliance on stimulants and a healthier diet.
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Control & Relaxation
Physical exertion requires you to control your breathing to compensate for an increased heart rate, whereas stress raises your heart and breathing rate involuntarily. Knowing that you are in control of your own body is an important first step to overcoming stress and anxiety. Daily breathing routines can also benefit as well by giving you a feeling of steadiness and relaxation; there is a reason why people do calming activities like yoga and tai-chi after all!
Routine & Regularity
The regularity of exercise is also a major benefit, as stress is often caused through things in your life becoming chaotic or irregular. Taking the time every day to stick to a routine of fitness can add this regularity into your life that will help you manage stress and feel that everything is ordered and stable. Having a personal trainer means you will have extra help and motivation for planning a daily fitness routine. PGPT clients find that having a mobile personal trainer allows them the flexibility to train in an environment and time that suits their individual routines and availability. Find out about how we help our clients manage stress with exercise programmes designed to suit them.
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Sense of Progress
Finally, one of the other ways you can manage stress with exercise is in the resulting sense of progress and achievement. Setting out small and achievable goals, such as ‘I will walk for 20 minutes on my lunch break’ or ‘I will spend 10 minutes stretching every morning’, is a good way of creating a sense of progression. Feeling stressed or anxious often feels like being stuck in a rut with no way out. Having something with progress in your life is an excellent way of resolving these feelings. Exercise creates a ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ so to speak; you will get through your worries and will feel better for it.
Manage Stress with Exercise and PGPT
Whether it is by feeling alert, having a sense of achievement or keeping up a routine, knowing how to manage stress with exercise can be just what you need to take back control of your mind and body. With our mobile personal training in London many of our clients have certainly been able to overcome the daily stresses of their busy and high-pressure work lives.
We specialise in providing comprehensive personal training programmes for busy Londoners. Contact PGPT today to find out more, or book your complimentary consultation.