Managing Stress With Regular Exercise

Taking frequent effective exercise is one of the best physical stress-reduction techniques available. Exercise not only improves your health and reduces stress caused by unfitness, it also relaxes tense muscles and helps you to sleep. Exercise has a number of other positive benefits you may not be aware of:
It improves blood flow to your brain, bringing additional sugars and oxygen that may be needed when you are thinking intensely.

When you think hard, the neurons of your brain function more intensely. As they do this, they can build up toxic waste products that can cause foggy thinking (you may have experienced the feeling that your brain has "turned to cotton wool"). By exercising, you speed the flow of blood through your brain, moving these waste products faster.

Exercise can cause release of chemicals called endorphins into your blood stream. These give you a feeling of happiness and positively affect your overall sense of well-being.

There is also good evidence that physically fit people have less extreme physiological responses when under pressure than those who are not. This means that fit people are more able to handle the long- term effects of stress, without suffering ill health or burnout.

There are many wrong approaches to exercise. Some traditionally recommended forms of exercise actually damage your body over the medium- or long-term. Your doctor is a good starting point for recommending good forms of exercise.

NB: If you are not used to taking exercise regularly, then it may be appropriate to take medical advice before starting an exercise program.

An important thing to remember is that exercise should be fun. It is difficult to keep going with an exercise program that you do not enjoy.



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