One of the most important things when coping with stress is exercise.
Exercise helps relieve the symptoms of stress greatly and usually leaves you feeling a million times better. It can be hard to get motivated but once you get in to the routine of exercising regularly you will notice a difference in both your physical and mental state.
The reason for this is very simple. Exercise in its various forms releases endorphins in the brain essentially making you happier. Endorphins also help when coping with pain as they have analgesic properties.
Exercising also improves blood flow to your brain making sure that the correct amount of oxygen and nutrients are delivered in a timely fashion.
When working the brain hard the neurons in your brain function more intensely. As they do they produce a waste product that can build up leaving your thinking unclear and ‘foggy’. Exercise helps the body rid itself of waste products and thus improving brain function.
So if you’re not already convinced – exercise will also improve the condition of your heart, lungs, circulatory and vascular systems and aside from making you feel great, exercise will assist with weight loss in conjunction with a proper diet.
So get going. Don’t join a gym unless you are 100% sure that you will use it enough to justify the pricing. Start simply by going for a short walk or swim once a week, then twice a week and increasing frequency and duration as your fitness levels adjust.
For those who seek more of a challenge try something new and exciting like street dancing or pole fitness (www.twirl.ie), ballet, tap or salsa!
If that’s not your cup of tea there are plenty of group activities available like Tag rugby, football, basketball, or athletics (often available through your company – see www.bhaa.ie).
Human bodies need activity and exercise almost as much as we need food and water. If your job is sedentary then you particularly need to take the initiative and get moving.
NB: If you are not used to taking exercise regularly, then it may be appropriate to take medical advice before starting an exercise program.