Published July 12, 2012
I am a huge proponent of exercise as a means to create longevity in your life.
Exercise has been shown to help improve your mood, combat chronic diseases and manage your weight.
It strengthens your lungs and heart, improves your sleep and enhances your sex life.
While all of that is very important one of the best benefits of exercise is to relieve your stress!
It doesn’t matter what type of exercise, be it weightlifting or swimming, it can help reduce stress. Exercise boosts your endorphins, which are hormonal substances in the brain that create a sense of euphoria sometimes called a “runner's high."
It helps you to focus on your body movements and redirects your thoughts away from the stresses of your day. Regular exercise elevates mood and reduces mild cases of anxiety and depression.
The key to using exercise as a tool to improve your health and reduce your stress is to start slow and do something you enjoy.
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While one of my best friends loves the gym I don’t connect with gym life. So when she heads to the gym I am headed to the yoga studio or the swimming pool.
Once you have found something you like to do start slowly by doing light exercise such as walking, or tai chi for a short time, maybe even 5-10 minutes a day.
It might seem like starting with 10 minutes of exercise per day will never get you to the U.S. guidelines of 30 minutes of moderate exercise five to six times per week.
Don’t stress about it. If you focus on enjoying it, releasing stress and being consistent, you will build up to it.
Moderate exercise is defined as getting your heart rate up to a point where it is difficult to have a conversation while exercising.
You may be surprised to find that consistent exercise each day will increase your stamina, and within six to nine months you may attain your 30 minutes of exercise daily.
The best part is that you will be less stressed and in better shape. Exercise is a win-win all the way around.