Following a long and stressful day at work, the last thing many want to do is exercise. The mind is exhausted, the body is sluggish, and the mood is not right following work on many days. Exercise can be that de-stressing activity to help alleviate those problems. Jogging on the treadmill or lifting weights is a healthy way to cope with work stress. Attending a relaxing yoga class following work to help clear the mind and restore the body in a healthy way. Listed below are some reasons to exercise to alleviate stress.
When the body is in a state of distress, hormones circulate through the body which can cause harm. Epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol circulate through the blood the body is stressed, causing blood pressure, respiration rate, and the heart rate to increase. When this happens, the body is in an excited state and when in this state for prolonged periods of time, the body becomes exhausted and ill.
Exercise is great for reducing stress and bringing the body in a more calm and peaceful state. During exercise, the body releases endorphins which circulate in the blood. Endorphins essentially have the opposite action than epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol. Endorphins give the body and mind a moment of euphoria, thus restoring the body and mind. The restoration of the body and mind helps lower the body’s blood pressure and heart rate and actually has a role in helping the body absorb more oxygen.
One’s confidence in their own ability to perform an action is termed self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is a major contributor for exercise behaviors and stress has a leading role in reducing one’s self-efficacy. Completing a workout and accomplishing daily goals can help increase one’s self-efficacy, which can then increase confidence to perform other daily functions. Eliminating stress after work by exercising can help restore confidence for that tough next day and can build confidence for coping with tough situations.
Making exercise a habit can lead to endless positive health outcomes. Eliminating barriers to exercise can help make exercise a habit. Common excuses for not exercising after a stressful day include: “I do not have time”, “I do not have energy today”, “I have no motivation”, “It is too hard”, or “Everyone will be watching me”.
Any excuse sounds great in one’s mind, but overcoming these common barriers can lead to a confident, healthier, and happier person. Try walking on treadmill following a long day at the office or try a relaxing Yoga class for additional benefits. If time is an issue, walk around the office for 10 minutes at a time to free the mind and keep the body restored. Finding time can help keep the body most efficient and can lead to a stronger and confident self.