Addressing the subject of stress is pretty difficult because is such a huge subject matter. You know how it goes ..... you are sitting in the doctor’s office and he/she begins the long list of tell tale questions that will help him/her determine your overall health. “Okay, so tell me, on a scale of 1 to10, 10 being the worst, how would you rate your overall level of stress?” Once you begin to think about it, and then try to articulate your thoughts, it just becomes bigger and bigger as you continue to think about it, thought by thought and incident upon incident, you have created in your mind this very stressful whirlwind! Why is it when you begin to think of stress, you begin to internalize only on the negative things in your life! Right? One by one…. you itemize….one by one….. you create your mental list and pretty soon your mind is rushing and overwhelmed with the horrible things in your life that cause you stress…. And then… to add to the list, you start to think of buzz words you have heard along life… “stress management”, “stress relievers”, “good stress”, “bad stress”… and before you know it, you have piled lists upon list and now you are unable to even come up with a number between 1 and 10 and now it's ALL STRESSFUL!!!!!!!
Being fit, or fitness, isn’t just about exercise. Although where stress is related, it certainly has tremendous positive impact and relief to mitigate the adverse effects of what stress does to our bodies. So, let’s undo that awful list you just created. Take a deep long breath…. Aaahahhhhhh……. Another one…. aAAAAaaaahhhhhh….. very good.
It is key to know that stress is normal. Yep, you are normal – every last one of you! There are so many events that happen all around us – exteriorly – that our bodies are wired to react. The body is such a wonderful creation in that is designed to experience stress and react accordingly. However, without recognizing that just because we are designed to experience stress, we also have the means to fight it. Know that stress without relief results in tension and distress and ultimately poor health. Many health care professionals will attest that prolonged stress can contribute to symptoms of diseases and ultimately disease itself.
Did you know that 75% to 90% of all adults suffer from health effects stemming directly from stress?
Believe or not (believe it!) exercise is key to mitigating the physical adverse effects that stress can cause. Listen to this! Exercise actually burns away chemicals that cause stress. Vigorous exercise – the aerobic kind! – releases endorphins into the system. Endorphins are morphine-like hormones that are responsible for the feeling of elation – that ‘high’ runners get from running. Other chemicals like dopamine and serotonin are also released in the brain during exercise.
The benefits of exercise not only divert the adverse effects or damaging results of stress, but contributes greatly to overall well-being well into the thinking processes such that your responses to the external things in your life will not build up to an overwhelming list! The prescription is get outside, ride a bike, hike, play tennis, run up and down the bleachers – anything - in the wonderful Vitamin D sunshine and laugh til your belly is sore!
Stress level? 0!