Benefits of Exercise in Stress Management
There is significant evidence to show benefits of exercise for the treatment of stress within the workplace. Due to this increased awareness, there has been recent increases in the application of prescribed exercise. It is known that on a physiological level, exercise increases the amount of endorphins within the body. These hormones are well associated with happiness and contribute to the feeling of wellbeing and comfort. A rise in the level of endorphins within the body creates a feeling of joy, improves a normal appetite and boosts the immune system. This response to endorphins helps reduce the negative effect of stress on the body.
With the increase of prescribed exercise there is also an increased awareness of stress affecting employees in the workplace. Therefore, there is an emphasis on creating effective work-based exercise programmes aimed at helping people suffering from stress to manage their symptoms more effectively.
Physical activity can help lower your overall stress levels and improve your quality of life, both mentally and physically. Exercising regularly can have a positive effect on your mood by relieving the tension, anxiety, anger, and mild depression that often go hand-in-hand with stress. It can improve the quality of your sleep, which can be negatively impacted by stress, depression, and anxiety. It can also help boost your confidence levels. Physical activity improves your body’s ability to use oxygen and also improves blood flow.
Among some of its additional benefits, exercise can help:
- strengthen your muscles and bones
- strengthen your immunity, which can decrease your risk of illness and infection
- lower your blood pressure, sometimes as much as some antihypertensive medications
- boost levels of good cholesterol in your blood
- improve your blood circulation
- improve your ability to control weight
- help you sleep better at night
- boost your energy
- improve your self-image
Exercises you can involve in include:
You can learn to control your respirations so they mimic relaxation; the effect, in fact, will be relaxing, you can do that if you breathe in slowly and deeply, pushing your stomach out so that your diaphragm is put to maximal use. Hold your breath briefly. Exhale slowly, thinking “relax.” Repeat the entire sequence five to 10 times, concentrating on breathing deeply and slowly.
Why it works to reduce stress: Yoga postures are a form of sttength training making you more resilient and flexible, which in turn relieves physical tension. It also uses deep breathing, which triggers the body’s relaxation response. Studies have shown that yoga reduces blood pressure too.
Why it works to reduce stress: It’s easy to do and requires no classes or special equipment. Walking frequently can reduce the incidence of many of the stress-related conditions, including cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes. People with regular walking regimens also report reduced stress levels and a self-confidence that comes from taking an active role in their well-being.
Why it works to reduce stress: Dancing has many physical, mental and even emotional benefits. It’s a great workout that improves grace and agility as it raises your heart rate. And researchers have found that people who ballroom dance twice a week have less risk of developing dementia, perhaps because learning new steps challenges your brain too.