Exercise to Reduce Stress


Stress – Yes, Exercise Helps!

Bicycle riders for fun and exerciseExercising regularly benefits the body in more ways than one. Improved health and general well-being is the most commonly-known. There are also those who exercise regularly to maintain their good figures and build. Still, others exercise as a means to a higher end like sports or a highly-physical line of work. But do you know that exercising regularly aids in reversing the damaging effects of stress and prepares your body to withstand some more?

Stress and exercise are a perfect match. One is negative, while the other is positive. Stress is the stimulus while exercise should be the proper response.

Exercise And How It Helps Reduce Stress

The body undergoes over 1500 biochemical reactions during stress response (fight or flight reflex) – an amazing chemical feat, indeed! However, byproducts of these processes are toxic to the body if they continue to circulate in the system. Regular exercise simulates the ‘fight or flight’ reflex and aids the body to attain homeostasis faster, thus, reducing the harmful effects of stress. Homeostasis is the constant condition within the body or the processes necessary to achieve this ideal condition. Thus, exercising helps the body get back to its normal functioning condition.

Regular exercise promotes health. A healthy body will not easily succumb to illnesses that are common among stressed-out people. During exercising until a few hours after, there is a marked increase in the body’s production of macrophages – the body’s immune cells in charge of eating up infectious viruses, bacteria and tumor cells in the body.

Aside from this, exercise improves blood circulation. Improved blood circulation allows all immune cells to circulate freely in the blood, thereby increasing their efficiency to defend the body. So, one avoids the added trouble of dealing with ailments while under a lot of stress, say, in the workplace.

One common symptom of stress are tensed muscles. Well, exercise, relaxes the whole body and gets rid of tightness and cramps in certain places, particularly the neck and upper back. Regular use of these muscles during exercising keeps them relaxed and allows blood to reach them with much-needed oxygen and cleanses them of cellular activity byproducts.

Some forms of exercises qualify as moving meditation like jogging and running. The repetitive movement makes for some kind of mantra that alters the mood in a positive way. It is as if the mind goes on a tranquil state that allows it to relax and let go of distressing thoughts.

With regular exercise, you also achieve a better figure as it promotes weight loss. Having an appearance that is socially desirable improves your self-image. A healthy self-image, plus a general sense of well-being can do wonders to one’s confidence to face any stressful situation.

Exercising regularly also allows you to set fitness goals that become part of a healthier lifestyle. And a healthier lifestyle has no room for stress – only the means to cope with it.

Contact American Chiropractic to Make an Appointment to let Dr. Hunziker help you make a plan for stress-reducing exercise.

Originally posted by Dr. Ken Whidden, D.C., of Emerald Coast Chiropractic in Destin, Florida