Exercise is good for stress relief.
You don’t need to be an athlete to feel the benefits though; any physical activity will help with your wellbeing.
Our mood can apparently be improved by as little as a single bout of exercise lasting lessthan10 minutes.
Exercise will of course improve our physical health. This improves our self-confidence and self-esteem, which will naturally improve how we feel.
However, it also works in a scientific way.
When you feel stressed, your brain releases hormones. These include cortisol, which puts your body into survival mode; this is the fight or flight mechanism.
This is very effective if you’re in harm’s way, but in an everyday working environment it will start to take its toll over an extended period. Exercise can help.
A small amount of cortisol is released when you exercise. This is because physical activity puts your body under a small amount of stress.
Through exercising regularly, your body gradually becomes used to cortisol and less of it is released.
As a result, you won’t feel as much stress.
It also doesn’t take much to make a difference. Here some quick tips on how to become a bit more active:
Make it achievable – Start small. A 10 minute walk is a good place to start, or a walk around the block at lunchtime. You don’t need to sign up a half marathon right away.
Make a plan– Try to make exercise part of your routine. This makes it a harder habit to break if you’ve already designated time to doing it.
Exercise with friends– If you make plans with someone else, you’re less likely to back out due to letting them down!
Use technology– There are plenty of apps that can track anything, from your daily steps to how far you’ve ridden. It’s amazing how competitive they make you – against yourself.
Change if you need to – Don’t persevere with exercise you don’t enjoy. If that’s the case, although it may be tempting to give up altogether, try not to. Give something else a try instead.
If you’d like some more tips on exercise, and other ways to boost your wellbeing at home and at work, we recommend taking BounceBack’s Workplace Wellbeing eLearning Course.