Posted on August 22, 2020 by Jenny Cromack

We all know it’s easier said than done to just ‘relax’ and ‘chill out’ when we feel stressed. How many times has a friend told you they are stressed, and you’ve told them to take ‘some time out’, ‘have a bit of me time’ but, how often do you listen to these wise words yourself? Exercise can be a great stress relief, but what is stress?

Stress can affect us in many ways, it usually occurs when we feel threatened by an event or situation, or something that upsets our balance in some way. A stress response is usually created by our bodies defence mechanism and can make us feel a variety of physical symptoms which can make us feel uncomfortable and make us behave differently.

Physical Signs of Stress

The most common physical sign of stress include:

  • sweating
  • loss of appetite
  • disrupted sleep

Stress is our fight or flight response. Fight or flight (also known as the hormones, adrenaline and noradrenaline) raises our blood pressure and increases our heart rate to prepare our body for an ‘emergency response’. These hormones can also reduce blood flow to our skin and reduce stomach activity resulting in potential stomach issues like IBS symptoms.

How Does Exercise Help?

Completing regular physical activity has been shown to lower the signs of stress. To some, exercise is ‘stress relief’ and the ‘me time’ they need to de-stress. Exercising can enhance our mood and reduce stress levels, therefore allowing us to tackle daily challenges in a more positive, optimistic and constructive way!

It may not be for everyone but if there is any reason to start exercising, then this may be for you! A simple 10-minute brisk walk can increase your energy, mental alertness and positive mood, It sounds too good to be true right!? Well why don’t you try it, and take note of how you feel, after all what do you have to lose?! (apart from possibly stress!)

Here’s our top 5 stress management tips too.