Tag: physical

Lower Stress with Physical Activity

I love getting my daily dose of physical activity because it is so good for my body, but more importantly because it is medicine for my mind. Physical activity is one of the best stress relievers there is. I have found that during the times in my life when I have experienced the most stress is when my physical activity levels have decreased. I have generally had a higher tolerance to stress, and had a better overall quality of life when I have made time to incorporate some type of exercise or physical activity into my life.

Here are three ways that getting active, or exercising can reduce stress:

  1. Physical activity increases the production of the neurotransmitters in your brain called endorphins that make you feel good. These chemicals have been known to create a positive feeling of well-being that can be referred to as a “runners’ high”.
  2. When you are concentrated on a fast-paced activity like volleyball, or a strenuous hike in the mountains, you are likely to let the worries of the day start to dissipate from your mind while your brain is focusing more on your movements and what you are doing. This helps you to begin to relax, and start to see the hurdles in your day as very small irritations.
  3. Regular exercise can help lower the symptoms anxiety and depression while also boosting self-confidence. For example, physical activity helps improve sleep which in turn reduces stress, anxiety, and depression. This can give you a positive sense of control over your body and your life.

Source: Mayo Clinic

Casey Robertson


Benefits of Physical Activity

Why is physical activity important? In today’s superficial society looks are everything. It seems that everyone is desperate to be tan and toned and will go to extremes to get there. However being physically fit and active is more than meets the eye. There are numerous mental and physical benefits to being physical active.

-Increased Energy
When you are involved in physical activity and are making your body do more than pick up the remote, blood vessels to your muscles dilate causing an increase in oxygen and blood flow. At the same time, your metabolic rate is increased which gives you a feeling of increased energy. The good thing about this is that it is not just a momentary burst of energy during your workout but lasts well after your workout.

-Stress Relief
During a workout or physical activity, the hormone epinephrine, adrenaline, is increased. This hormone is responsible for blood flow that in turn supplies the brain with oxygen making you more alert. Being alert makes you aware of your surroundings and helps deal with stress more efficiently and effectively. Endorphins also known as “feel good hormones” are released as well as adrenaline, which improves mood and feeling which in most counters the feeling of stress.

-Decreased Risk of Illness
Exercise is known to improve circulation of white blood cells, which are used to fight of harmful bacteria. Because of this, we are able to more efficiently prevent illness. However when we do get sick, because of the increased circulation of blood cells, we are able to more efficiently become well again.

-Improve Physical Appearance
Along with a healthy diet, increased physical activity expends energy and burns fat. Burning excess fat and unwanted “baggage” increases not only our health, but is the most effective way to achieve the physical goals you are striving for. With that being said, weight loss is not the only way to improve your physical appearance. A well designed strength training program also improves muscle definition, even without weight loss. And for those that are worried about resistance training making them bulky, most introductory resistance training programs will improve strength and definition, without adding a great deal of muscle size. However, the intensity of strength training will determine the amount of gains in muscle size and definition.

There are countless benefits to working out and becoming more physically active, many of the psychological benefits are not well known. It doesn’t matter if it is hitting the gym for an hour, playing a game of pick-up basketball, or even walking the dog, anything is better than nothing. With dedication and motivation, anyone can achieve the goals they are striving to achieve.

-Kyle Knouse
-Blog Bros