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6rant6's avatar

How does exercise help with stress?

Asked by 6rant6 (13624 points ) March 14th, 2011

I know that exercise helps with stress. Even something as simple as a daily walk makes a lot of difference.

I’m trying to explain how it works. I know some of it is psychological, some of it physiological.

Thoughts?

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9 Answers

marinelife's avatar

“But exercise also has some direct stress-busting benefits.

* It pumps up your endorphins. Physical activity helps to bump up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Although this function is often referred to as a runner’s high, a rousing game of tennis or a nature hike also can contribute to this same feeling.
* It’s meditation in motion. After a fast-paced game of racquetball or several laps in the pool, you’ll often find that you’ve forgotten the day’s irritations and concentrated only on your body’s movements. 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 remain calm and clear in everything that you do.
* It improves your mood. Regular exercise can increase self-confidence and lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety. Exercise also can improve your sleep, which is often disrupted by stress, depression and anxiety. All this can ease your stress levels and give you a sense of command over your body and your life.”

Mayo Clinic

GTL222's avatar

Usually as your walking/ running/ jogging…it gets your mind off of everything else. If your doing this daily it will make you feel better about yourself and your mood.

Ex(: ive been exercising everyday to loose weight, everyday i do the same thing over and over again… ive been on a diet for almost a week and a half and have lost 10 lbs. it makes you feel a whole lot better about yourself, makes you feel more confident. i know im always lauhing and smiling anyways but since ive started this its 24/7 now.

Exercise can do alot for someone, just doing the breathing techinque as your walking relaeases stress, i know it does to me. Sleeping at night has also gotten alot better, seems like i can be laying there for 30 seconds and be passed out, Exercise is very important in every human beings life.

lifeflame's avatar

The way I once heard it explained (that made a lot of sense):

Stress comes from excess adrenaline. Our bodies are wired so that when we perceive a threat, it responds with a “fight or flight” response. It used to work really well for us because it would prepare us to physically run for it or bash something up.
However, in modernity, we don’t follow through with it; and a lot of the threats we perceive have become psychological, or internalized (e.g., a threat to our self-image, the threat of a deadline) so we have all this adrenaline—a body primed for action—but no release.

When you exercise, you give an outlet to this excess.

blueiiznh's avatar

Many things go into it.
It is a feel good thing based on all said here. Adrenaline, endorphines, routine, energy creation, self esteem for accomplishing things, caloric burn, mind focus, mind relaxation.
When you workout, your metabolism shifts for the better. You also naturally want to eat better to compliment the effort.
All these help you feel better about yourself and thus are great at stress relief.
Mind and body working together for a better you!

ETpro's avatar

Absolutely. Aerobic exercise is particularly good for stress. It helps your body relax and releases endorphins that put your mind at ease. It helps ensure you can get a good noght’s sleep, which is vital to maintain your thought clarity in order to work through whatever is producing the stress you are dealing with. Best of success getting through it. Always remember to old acorn, “This too shall pass.” That’s one favor Old Man Time does for us.

stratman37's avatar

@marinelife – meditation in motion. I like that.

MilkyWay's avatar

exercising produces hormones in the body which are healthy but also make you feel happier..I always feel much better after some intense dancing…
excerpt: Testosterone
Testosterone is a steroidal hormone that is primarily responsible for muscle growth. Even though testosterone is often referred to as a “male hormone,” both sexes produce it. Testosterone is called the primary anabolic hormone because it is most responsible for recovery from exercise and the growth of muscle tissue.
Also excerpt….
•Serotonin: Serotonin is sometimes called the happiness hormone, it regulates the mood, prevents depression and makes you feel happy. Serotonin can be released by getting exposed to sunlight, by eating foods rich in carbohydrates and by exercising.
•Endorphins: Endorphins can make you feel good, reduce your anxiety and your sensitivity to pain. Endorphins are released by exercising.

drdoombot's avatar

Stress damages brain cells. Exercising stimulates the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that repairs damaged brain cells and encourages new growth.

blueiiznh's avatar

There is a great documentary that explains what stress does to a person.
Check netflix or other sources and watch Stress: Portrait of a Killer.
It certainly can change your perspective and help give you a reason to exercise and help remove stress. One year of a stressful life is similar to 6 years of non stressed aging.
Exercise helps us remove some of this stress.

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