Most people know exercising regularly at their local Mississauga fitness club is good for their bodies, helps strengthen the immune system, and builds stronger muscles. While you may have made an effort to become more physically fit for your New Year’s resolution and already gave up, because you are just too busy and stressed, you need to give exercise a second chance. Did you know that exercise also helps reduce stress?
Before we explain how exercise reduces stress, let’s first look at how stress affects our eating and dietary habits. Stress in an emotion we cannot get rid of. It is one of those emotions you could say, we can’t stand to live with, but cannot survive without it. It is finding this balance of optimal stress at the appropriate levels that is beneficial.
When we have an optimal amount of stress, our performance levels are enhanced and we are more productive. However, it is once we pass this threshold where stress becomes a hindrance as we find ourselves anxious and if we do nothing, could experience a full blow up or nervous breakdown.
It is also at this level the release of hormones within our body start to change. As we become more anxious and stress passes its optimal levels, the brain singles the release of adrenaline as part of our “flight or fight” response, along with cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that can trick us into thinking we are hungry and tempt us to seek out “comfort” foods, like ice cream, cookies, fried foods, or other sugary and salty snacks.
The problem with cortisol is it blocks our brain’s ability to recognize when the stomach is actually full. This is why someone, who is extremely stressed overeats and consumes larger portions of foods and snacks. As we consume the “comfort” foods, it causes the brain to release “feel-good” hormones, and could help bring our stress levels back down. However, until the stress is reduced to more manageable levels, cortisol will continue to be released.
Rather than seeking out comfort foods when you feel anxious and stressed and risk packing on extra belly fat, exercise is a much healthier stress reliever. From anaerobic to aerobic and weight training, all forms of exercise makes it easier to manage stress levels and here’s how:
Many people also discover when they exercise at least three times a week for 30-minutes each session, their self-confidence increases, too. For healthy stress relief and management, please feel free to stop by one of our Wynn Fitness Clubs locations today or call us (905) 276-0040!