If you are stressed out or looking for a little rest and relaxation, exercise may be just what you need. Aerobic exercise is good for your mind and body. It has the unique ability to counter depression, decrease stress, and provide a combination of exhilaration and calmness.
Why It Matters:
Exercising lowers the levels of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins in the brain. These endorphins are like natural pain killers with the power to elevate your mood. Neurochemical changes like these are why exercise has been shown to alleviate some symptoms of anxiety and depression.
What about stress? Symptoms such as tense muscles, headaches, and even back pain, can be rooted in chronic mental stress. Pain is distressing and can place your body into a stress response, where the mind and body enter a vicious cycle of tension and anxiety. Exercising can help reduce this stress response and relax both your mind and body.
Finally, exercising during the day helps regulate your sleep schedule and allows you to spend more time in a deep, restful sleep. Moderate exercise increases the slow wave sleep you get at night, which is the deep sleep that gives your brain and body a chance to rejuvenate and recover for the next day.
Exercising daily can help reduce the stress on your mind and body. It’s never too late to start exercising, and even small changes can make significant differences in your overall health. With a better mood, more restful sleep, and the ability to live a longer life, exercising daily is a crucial part of living a healthy lifestyle.
(1) Exercising for Better Sleep. Johns Hopkins Medicine. 2020.
by Christopher Freytag, D.C.