Creating a Stress-Relieving Lifestyle, Part 3: Exercise

Welcome to the final part of our stress-relieving blog series! Thus far, we’ve covered the fundamentals of diet and sleep to combat the ill-effects of stress. To recap:

Our body can’t distinguish between real, life-threatening situations and psychological stressors. That means that being chased by a dog and getting in a fight with your partner both cause the body to respond in a similar way, drawing blood and energy away from vital processes such as digestion, immunity, and sex drive.

Proper nutrition and sleeping well are essential foundations to not only reducing stress, but also for living an overall healthier lifestyle. Today, we’ll discuss the third aspect of reducing stress: exercise.

Exercise, in any form, releases endorphins that promote better mood and lower stress hormones.

Finding time to take care of your body is another challenge many of us face. You’re too busy and too stressed to pencil time in for exercise, right? But just like sleep and proper nutrition, you can’t afford to not incorporate some movement into your life. In an article from the staff at the Mayo Clinic, exercise is an important part of stress reduction for many reasons, including:

  • pumping up your endorphins, those “feel-good” neurotransmitters we always hear about.

  • clearing your mind by focusing on a single task and away from those stressful thoughts.

  • improving your mood by increasing confidence, relaxing you, and minimizing symptoms of anxiety and depression.

  • giving you time alone to think through stressful situations and work out negative emotions.

If you’re brand new to exercise, build gradually to a consistent routine. The goal is to reach 30 minutes of exercise per day, but that can also be broken up to 3-4 hour sessions per week. If possible, try to find some activities that you enjoy. If you are having trouble finding the time to exercise, try these tips.

  • Take a walk at lunch.

  • Walk or bike to or from work, if possible.

  • Take the stairs instead or the elevator. You will be surprised at how many extra calories you burn!

  • When watching television, use commercial breaks to do quick exercises, such as crunches, planks, or stretches.

  • Stand when talking on the phone. This will also help your muscles stretch and prevent muscle tension.

At Internal Wisdom, we understand that most individuals have limited time to devote to exercise. That’s why we brought on the cutting-edge Vasper System, an exercise bike that incorporates compression and cooling to give you the benefits of 2 hours of exercise in only 21 minutes. Now you have no excuse to not get that body moving! Make sure to ask our staff about our Premier Membership to get started.

Remember, diet, sleep, and exercise are all important in making positive lifestyle changes. Start slowly, build your commitment steadily, stay positive and focused, and you’ve got a recipe for success!