You have heard it before, but one of the absolute best way of handling stress short and long run in addition to recovery activities, see last week’s post, is exercise. Research has shown that both aerobic exercises, like walking, running, swimming and biking, and building muscles, as in strength training but also work around the house or garden etc. are helpful.
I suggest a daily brisk walk of 30 minutes or similar, but also a stroll of 20 minutes has in research shown to be beneficial for reducing stress. The best exercise is the one you actually do and easily can fit into you daily life, for example adding a walk on the way to or back from work/school.
The benefits are many: exercise and muscles both help to decrease current level of stress hormones as well as build the stress tolerance long run. Exercise also helps your spirit as well as reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression, benefits the heart and the head, both the cell renewal processes and increases the production of neurons (braincells), i.e. more new building blocks to repair stress injuries and maintain the body and mind. Of course, you should only exercise when well to avoid the risk of injury or other harm.
In addition to exercise, there are 3 important building blocks of stress management: 1) regulate you stress level, se techniques last week 2) handle stress sources and 3) use stress management habits. I will go through the latter 2 in next posts.