How Exercise and Self-Care Help to Mitigate Stress

How Exercise and Self-Care Help to Mitigate Stress

How Exercise and Self-Care Help to Mitigate Stress

April is Stress Awareness Month, a time to highlight not only the dangers of stress but also provide successful coping strategies. Stress may be triggered by many different life events and can result in a myriad of symptoms that can negatively affect the body and mind.

Based on data from the Mayo Clinic, “Stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior. Being able to recognize common stress symptoms can help you manage them. Stress that's left unchecked may hinder your health & wellness.

Let’s Talk About Stress

Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threat. When you sense danger—whether it’s real or imagined—the body’s defenses kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as the “fight-or-flight” reaction or the “stress response.” The stress response is the body’s way of protecting you. When working properly, it helps you stay focused, energetic, and alert.

Financial worries, family or relationship issues, work or school, and major life changes are just a few examples of stress triggers. According to The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, it’s important to try to identify these triggers. “Once you know where your stress is coming from—a relationship, kids, workload, a health problem—you can sometimes reduce or prevent the stress. After giving the matter some focused thought, you may identify practical steps to improve the situation.”

Mental symptoms of stress can range from worry and irritability to restlessness and occasional sleeplessness anger and hostility, or sensations of dread, foreboding, and even panic. Because the root cause of stress is emotional, it is best controlled by gaining insight, reducing life problems that trigger stress, and modifying behavior. And stress control can — and should — also involve the body.

Get Moving to Manage Stress

Maintaining a regular routine of physical activity is, without a doubt, one of the major ways to reduce stress. In fact, based on a study concerning exercise physiology, The Stanford University School of Medicine states, “Exercise has been shown to relieve symptoms of stress, yet only one in four Americans is meeting the recommended levels of physical activity.

For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends getting at least 2-1/2 hours of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. Examples of moderate aerobic activity include brisk walking or swimming, and vigorous aerobic activity can include running or biking. Greater amounts of exercise can provide even greater health benefits.

As you begin to regularly shed your daily tensions through movement and physical activity, you may find that this focus on a single task, and the resulting energy and optimism, can help you stay calm, clear, and focused in everything you do. Biochem’s high quality 100% Plant Proteins can help support your stress reducing workout by aiding your muscles.

What Are Other Forms of Self-Care That Relieve Stress?

  • Practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, tai chi or get a massage!
  • Spending time with family and friends.
  • Setting aside time for hobbies, such as reading a book, painting, writing, or listening to music.
  • Get plenty of sleep and eat a healthy, balanced diet. By adding a Biochem protein powder to your daily diet, you can be assured of receiving a good portion of your daily requirements of protein.

Whatever you do, don't think of exercise and self-care as just one more thing on your to-do list. Find an activity you enjoy — whether it's an active tennis match or a meditative meander down to a local park and back — and make it part of your regular routine. Any form of physical activity can help you unwind and become an important part of your approach to easing stress.

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