How does exercise reduce stress?
- It pumps up your endorphins. Physical activity helps to bump up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Although this function is often referred to as a runner’s high, other activity can also contribute to this same feeling.
- It’s meditation in movement. After exercising you may find that you’ve forgotten the day’s dilemmas and irritations because you are concentrated only on your body’s movements. As you begin to regularly shed your daily tensions through movement and physical activity, you may find that this focus on a single task, and the resulting energy and optimism, can help you remain calm and clear in everything that you do.
- It improves your mood. Regular exercise can increase self-confidence and lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety. This can ease your stress levels and give you a sense of command over your body and your life.
- It has social benefits. Most often physical activity involves others and gives you a double dose of stress-relief with the combined benefits of exercise and fun with friends.