I have found that in times of stress, physical exertion is one of the most effective and important steps to take — and it can actually help us through hard times!
Numerous studies have confirmed the fact that the right amount of exercise relieves stress and boosts the immune system. It releases feel-good hormones — such as endorphins and adrenaline — and reduces levels of stress hormones.
Yet our natural reaction to stress is usually to take things out of our day that seem superfluous and time-consuming. Often that includes the time we spend on our own health. We sacrifice that time — and ourselves — to other more “important” causes at hand, even when the cause of our stress is something we don’t have control over anyway.
I’d like to point out three other important benefits of exercise that are less often highlighted — but equally great reasons to find time every day to just move.
Why is it that we follow a doctor’s prescription to a “T” but then take additional advice like “no sugar” and “You need to exercise” with a shrug of the shoulders? If your exercise plan was written out for you on a tiny prescription pad, would you follow it? If you had to go to the pharmacy counter to get your grocery items, would it change the way you eat?
One of the most important components of effective physical training is INTENSITY. Here’s how to achieve ideal progress both physically and mentally by knowing how to recognize what zone of intensity you’re in, and pushing yourself into higher zones.
The 4 zones of intensity
There are four zones of intensity:
Ah, summer — longer days, a less structured lifestyle … NOT. If you’re stressed out by your kids’ summer activities, friends, meals, constant messes and late night hours (I have three teens; I can relate!), you know it’s easy to feel you can’t fit in workouts on top of everything else. But study after study has shown that regular exercise is one of the best things you can do when you’re stressed.