Exercise Your Stress Away

The benefits of exercise are widely known.

They include improved physical health, reduced risk of certain diseases, and increased strength capacity. However, not as much attention is paid to the benefits that exercise can have on anxiety and stress management. It has even been reported that physical activity is sometimes as effective as medication for these conditions (talk to your doctor before making any changes!).

It might sound overwhelming to begin an exercise regimen; sometimes we envision large goals like training for a marathon or spending hours in the gym each week. But studies show that it doesn’t require a major overhaul in someone’s lifestyle to achieve quality benefits.

Something as simple as a five-minute walk around the block can provide a few hours of relief. And a consistent commitment to easily manageable daily activities can provide more long-term relief for anxiety and stress.

It has been found that doing a little bit of exercise each day is more effective than a long period of exercise one day a week for symptom reduction.

A key element of building a lasting program of exercise to relieve symptoms is to make it enjoyable!

Think of the things you like to do and incorporate them into a workout program. Many fun activities can be combined with walking such as listening to music, a podcast to learn something new, or an audiobook. If you like to dance, turn on the tunes and dance in your living room. Do you love dogs? Take yours or a friend’s dog for a walk. Meet up with a buddy and enjoy a stroll or try something new like a yoga video. You can go with your kids on a bike ride or take a swimming class with your spouse. The opportunities are endless; just remember it doesn’t need to be painful or boring to be effective!