If you feel anxious or depressed all the time, with a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach, it’s time to take action. Those feelings can come from stress. I have clients at BioFit Performance in Oviedo, FL, who workout specifically to do exercises that relieve stress, Stress can be both good and bad. It’s necessary for survival and prepares the body to run or fight when there’s danger. It was especially important to early man, when running and fighting could help with most stressors. Today, things that are stressful aren’t the same. Traffic jams, an angry boss or customer and getting the house ready for your in-laws visit doesn’t require either, so you never burn off the hormones of stress to return to normal.
You can mimic the act of running and the movements of fighting.
Doing a tough workout can be just as productive when it comes to burning off stress hormones, according to science. After they burn off, the body replaces them with hormones that make you feel good. There are various studies that show that exercise can help lift mild depression and anxiety as well as medication and is a good adjunct therapy for more severe cases. Weight lifting is one type of exercise that can burn off cortisol, which is associated with abdominal fat, and other stress hormones.
If you want to mimic flight, as in fight or flight response, start running.
When you think of aerobic workouts, you probably immediately think of running, but there are other aerobic workouts that are beneficial to relieve stress. Any exercise that gets your heart pumping will do. You can make it a steady state run or maximize the benefits by alternating your pace, going at top speed for a short period and reverting to a recovery period and back again. It turns an ordinary run into HIIT—high intensity interval training.
Out of shape and stressed to the max?
Start simple with what you can do. Taking a walk can be a start. You don’t have to go to the gym or lift heavy weights, just put one foot in front of the other and get moving. Modify your pace throughout the walk, speeding up for a while and slowing down to recover, then back up again. Have you ever noticed how you pace when you’re stressed or know someone who does? It’s because it’s comforting and cuts the stress. As you get fitter, make your stress release more difficult. Include other types of exercise like flexibility training and strength training.
- Working out not only makes you feel less stress, it also helps your posture. That makes you look more confident and feel more confident, too. In many cases, people find that one change often reduces stress in their life.
- Getting rid of stress can occur when you workout and even after you finish. Consider using our cold hot plunge or the chromotherapy infra-red sauna after you workout or even before to limber up a bit.
- If you’re a senior, don’t kid yourself thinking you don’t have stress. Stress doesn’t have to come from the work world and in seniors, it often masks itself as depression. Getting out, working out and enjoying the challenge of getting fit can help reverse or prevent a problem.
- When it’s possible, workout on the beach or exercise outdoors. Go barefoot and feel the energy of the earth. Direct contact with the ground is called grounding. It feels good and many believe it helps relieve stress.
For more information, contact us today at BioFit Performance