Stress is bad for us. We all know that. It’s something we hear all the time along with so many ways to tackle it that it’s hard to separate the facts from the fads. When we talk about stress in this context, we aren’t talking about the sort of stress where you have a lot to do so you rush around to get it done occasionally. We’re talking about that long-term nagging stress from either this happening too often or having underlying worries that makes us feel stressed constantly. This type of stress can have serious consequences but, fortunately, understanding it better helps and exercise is a really simple but effective way to reduce those effects.
Why Stress is Bad for Us
No one likes to feel stressed but it can actually lead to serious issues such as depression, insomnia, memory problems, skin problems, heart disease, digestive issues, obesity, sexual dysfunction and autoimmune diseases. All these problems are caused by the body’s ‘fight or flight’ reaction to stress which pumps hormones like cortisol and adrenaline into your body to enable it to act quickly to a perceived threat. Obviously, this is great if you’re being chased by a bear and the only important function is to escape but it’s not so good when these hormones hang about long term as they suppress digestive function, reproductive capabilities and the immune system. They also increase your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate and the amount of glucose in your bloodstream. It’s easy to see how, long term, these things are going to put excess strain on your body.
Why Exercise Combats Stress
It seems illogical to want to put your body under more strain at this point by exercising but it’s actually one of the best things you can do because your body is preparing to take action so actually asking it to do some action helps your body to relax as it feels like it has fulfilled these functions. Exercising also increases the production of ‘good’ hormones that help the body and mind relax such as endorphins, dopamine and sometimes oxytocin depending on which sort of exercise you do. These are what produce that ‘feel good factor’ once you’ve finished exercising. Aside from the physical benefits of exercise, it’s also good for the mind as it is taking time out for yourself away from the things which are stressing you out.
Why Having a Personal Trainer is Helpful
Obviously, anyone can go and exercise under their own steam. The questions is, will you? If you’re feeling stressed and like you have too much to do, are you really going to take the time out to exercise even if you know it’ll make you feel better and perform better at the tasks you need to do? If you know full well the answer is that it’s unlikely, you would benefit from working with a personal trainer. Having, not just a scheduled time to exercise, but an appointment with someone and/or someone who you are accountable to if you don’t exercise when you said you would, will make it much more likely that you’ll actually do the exercise and receive all those stress relieving benefits.