Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Feeling Stressed? Take a Hike!

Everyone knows that exercise is a great way to lose weight but it’s also a great way to relieve stress and depression! Studies have shown that exercise can relieve stress as effectively as some medications.

Mild forms of exercise for just 20 minutes a day helps reduce our stress levels in many different ways:

Endorphin Release: Exercise causes our bodies to release Endorphins, which are the bodies natural “Attitude Adjusters”. They help relieve pain and elevate our mood, making it easier to deal with the ups and downs of a stressful day.

Improved Sleep: Increased physical activity can help you get to sleep faster and deeper. Studies also show that sleep deprivation causes a lowered pain threshold and a increase in feelings of depression. Neither of which are good when you’re stressed.

Cardiovascular Benefits: The heart is a muscle and just like every other muscle in our bodies, it gets stronger with exercise. A healthy heart reduces the risk of stress related conditions like strokes, hypertension, and congestive heart failure.

Emotional Release: Physical activity is a great outlet to release pent up anger, stress, and negative feelings.

Relieve Tight Muscles: Exercise can help reduce tightness in the muscles of the neck and back which can also cause headaches and back pain.

Everything from a brisk walk to stretching can be considered physical activity so don’t worry if you can’t go out and run a 10k just yet. Another great way to relieve stress and the aches and pains that go with it is to see your chiropractor and get an adjustment!