It seems like the entire world is busier and more stressed these days. Juggling the demands of work, family, health and fitness, and everything else, is a lot for anyone to manage. The good news is that exercise can be a powerful tool to help combat all of that stress you’re facing. Here’s how exercise, and working to get into shape, is your best weapon in the fight against stress.
The Cortisol Battle:
The hormone cortisol is a nasty little culprit in our bodies related to stress and anxiety levels. It’s also responsible for helping to store more fat in your body, particularly around the midsection, which means that it not only works against your mindset, it works against your fitness plan, too. But exercise, along with following a proper nutritional plan, helps to reduce your body’s level of cortisol.
It’s important to understand that during exercise cortisol production could actually be boosted. However, the level of circulating cortisol will drop back down, and with consistent exercise and proper nutrition, be lower than it ever used to be. You’ll be less stressed and have an easier journey towards improving your fitness success, too. The key is consistency and sticking with your plan.
The Exercise High:
Surely you’ve heard of the “runner’s high” before. There are a variety of neurological factors at work here, including the release of hormones such as norepinephrine and dopamine, compounds which are crucial for elevated moods, positive feelings, and happiness.
When you exercise, and particularly when you push yourself to the brink – for instance, set a lofty goal for your training session and don’t stop until you achieve it – you’ll release more of those hormones, and you’ll feel all the better for it. Goodbye stress, hello exercise “high”.
Exercise Will Help you Sleep:
For some people, one of the worst symptoms of stress is an inability to get a full night’s sleep. You lie awake, tossing and turning, worrying and fretting. Not only is this not fun for anybody, but it actually is part of a vicious cycle. With less sleep, you’ll actually be more stressed, exhausted and generally not at your best.
When you get your day’s quota of exercise though, you’ll be helping your body to sleep more easily. You will have utilized all of your energy and your body will be craving rest and recovery, and you will be able to more naturally achieve your body’s desired cycles in terms of waking hours versus resting hours. A good night’s sleep can cure almost anything, and fewer sleepless, anxious nights is certainly a good thing.
Sticking with your exercise and fitness plan will of course help you to lose weight, build lean muscle mass, and reach your overall health goals. When you start seeing success, not only will you look better, you’ll feel better, and increase your self-confidence.
This translates all across your lifestyle, in more ways than you might imagine. Increasing your self-esteem and your confidence will help you solve problems more successfully, rise to the occasion at work, overcome setbacks and much more. With improved self-confidence, a common event which might cause stress can be easily fought off, and you can move on with your life.
Don’t let stress run you down. With the help of fitness, exercise and nutrition, you can combat your stress levels, and be at your best each and every day. All of the aforementioned factors continue to build on themselves as time goes on. The more you exercise, the more consistently you follow your plan and achieve your health goals, the better off you’ll be both immediately and in the long term as well.
Combine a good exercise program with proper nutrition and you’ve got a winning combination! Here at NJ Fitness Factory, we pride ourselves on offering a complete fitness program. With 2 locations in New Jersey – Bloomfield and Montclair and we also service Nutley, Belleville, Glen Ridge, Verona and Cedar Grove.
Bloomfield NJ 07003