The perfect day! You awake energized from a peaceful night’s sleep. It’s 60 degrees and sunny, and the kids made breakfast. Your spouse comments on how slim you look in your new pants. At work you were disciplined enough to pass on the doughnuts your co-worker was passing out.
It sounds too good to be true, right? Unfortunately we rarely have the “perfect” day. Life is full of unavoidable stress. Stress can make you sick, cause depression, and hasten aging. Cortisol is the main stress hormone. Levels of cortisol fluctuate throughout the day. It’s important that these levels return to normal following a stressful event. However, in our fast-paced lives, the stress response is in over-drive and over-activated. Prolonged stress causes cortisol to remain elevated, which is linked to the following health issues: weight gain, hormonal imbalances, high blood sugar and elevated cholesterol.
The good news is that there are positive ways to manage and cope with stress. One of the best, most effective ways to cope is through EXERCISE!
Exercise reduces stress in numerous ways which can produce the following benefits:
1. Releases endorphins in the body that give us that feeling of elation.
2. Positively impacts how you view yourself.
3. Helps you get a better night’s sleep.
4. Gives you energy and helps you lose weight.
5. Creates a stress-resistant brain that’s better equipped to handle any kind of stress.
The overall effect of exercise is increased health, thus reducing your stress level. YOU can achieve all these benefits and more through regular, moderate exercise. So, find an exercise you enjoy, put on your sneakers, and let’s get moving!!