Exercising to relax? Most people would think that this is not possible and it would be the last thing that they do to relax. However according to Harvard Medical School research this is indeed what you should do.
Many people simply overlook the fact that exercise can be be relaxing. So many people view exercise as a chore and do not look forward to doing it. It doesn’t have to be that way. Initially yes it does seem like a chore, trying to fit it into an already packed day of work and other responsibilities. Once you do, you will discover how much exercising effects your mind. You will eventually discover you crave it. You will notice major changes in your mind, body and soul.
Exercise has the ability to stimulate and calm you. It counters depression, lifting your spirits. Exercise has been scientifically verified to treat mild anxiety and depression. So ultimately it is an all natural anti-depressant. Exercise reduces the amount of stress hormones making you feel more relaxed. It a simple thing that can leave you with much satisfaction and accomplishment when you are done.
Something as simple as 20 mins can land you in a happier place, leaving you a little less stressed and a clearer state of mind. After regular exercise you will notice you’re sleeping better and improvements in your mood.
Have you heard of Runner’s high? It’s a real thing and it’s not just for runners. Any physical activity that elevates your heart rate can promote that natural high. Daily exercise and sport provide small opportunities to get away from “life”. The best part you can choose what you do. In a group, by yourself, running, walking, lifting and the list goes on and on! When your body is active your mind is distracted.
It is so important to pencil in daily exercise, however sometimes you will find that you just don’t have time. That’s OK. At night when you are laying in bed, you can do breathing exercises or Progressive muscular relaxation.
To perform PMR follow these directions: While inhaling, contract one muscle group for 5 to 10 seconds, then exhale and release the muscle. Give yourself 10- 20 seconds to relax, and then move to the next muscle group. While releasing the tension, try to focus on the changes you feel when the muscle group is relaxed. Gradually work your down up the body contracting and relaxing muscle groups.
Whatever method of activity you choose is going to be beneficial to you and you do not have to conform to someone else’s mode of exercise. Find something you enjoy that involves actively moving your body. You will find benefits. If you need help finding your fitness then contact a qualified professional that will help you!
Thanks for reading and lets get out and get active!
Exercise for Stress and Anxiety | Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/managing-anxiety/exercise-stress-and-anxiety
Exercise and stress: Get moving to manage stress. (2018, March 8). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/exercise-and-stress/art-20044469
Harvard Health Publishing. (2018, July 13). Exercising to relax – Harvard Health. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/exercising-to-relax