I think it's probably safe to say we have all had those days when we want to throw down what we are doing and just walk out the door. Whether it's been a stressful day at work or a frustrating day at home, we could all use a little stress relief every now and then.
What is so damaging about stress? Plenty. Feeling stressed out too often raises your risk for deadly heart trouble by a whopping 27 percent. Stress also stimulates the release of adrenal hormones that cause high blood pressure and elevated blood sugar. Exercise has many stress-busting benefits. It pumps up your endorphins which are your brain's feel-good neurotransmitters. Exercise burns away chemicals lie cortisol and norepinephrine that cause stress while at the same time releases good chemicals like dopamine and serotonin which gives you a feeling of safety and security, helping you to relax.
Being physically active, especially on a daily basis increases your overall health and sense of well being, which puts more pep in your step every day. Don't wait until you feel stressed; prevent stress with regular exercise. To benefit from exercise it should be regular - part of a daily or weekly routine. Regular activity is as effective as antidepressants for the mild to moderate depression that stress can trigger.
So the next time you feel like punching something (or someone!) because you have had a bad day, week or month, recognize it's time to dial down the stress. Take a walk through your neighborhood or a hike in the woods. Pump some iron at the gym, go rock climbing, go on a run, swim or bike ride. Take a yoga class, boxing class, boot camp, Zumba. The options are endless. It may be helpful to bring along someone else for company like a spouse, friend or dog. If you anticipate seeing wildlife, bring your camera or binoculars. Crank up some music in your ear buds. And don't forget to log on to the RMA Fitness page and tell us all about it! Having a network of like-minded friends is extremely therapeutic, especially when you know there are people there you can depend on to support, inspire and motivate you! .