Exercise & its many benefits in reducing stress levels
Exercise does not always have to include a gym
There are many ways to become active by doing things you like or things you do regularly and not feel like you are exercising! Walking the dog, hiking, cleaning the house, shopping at the mall, gardening, or playing with your kids. All of these can promote being active and reduce stress levels and can actually be calming.
Moderation is best!
Breaking your exercise program into two 10- to 15-minute sessions, one before work and one at lunch time when possible for example, can help combat stress throughout the day.
Clear your mind.
Many stress reduction rewards can be achieved by walking for 20-30 minutes several times a week or other much milder physical activities that promote a sense of well being.
A study used to show effects of both high and low intensity runners and their exercise program. This study wanted to see how running, either high or low intensity, and its correlation to stress and emotions. The study stated that " The results show that, for regular exercisers, exercise can lead to improved positive affect." Study also found that the faster and more high intensity the runner performed, the more pleasant feelings they had.
A small amount of time for a large benefit
“Exercise and stress research has typically focused on aerobic exercise. There have been consistent findings that people report feeling calmer after a 20- to 30-minute bout of aerobic exercise, and the calming effect can last for several hours after exercise.”
Get involved with others!
"The support provided by others in group exercise activities as well as an improved sense of self–esteem associated with physical activity can also have powerful stress reduction effects.” Joining a group exercise program can provide motivation to continue and create friendships with those who have common interests as you.
Extras to explore
Mayoclinic.org provides a lot of information on the benefits of exercise and reducing stress. This site offers advice, tips, and help to promote a healthier life.
More Tips for Dealing with Stress
The ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America) provides many statistics, exercise program ideas, and research on the benefits of exercise in regards to reducing stress and anxiety.
Our Favorite Exercises
Take a look at some of our favorite exercises we use to reduce our stress as college students!