Exercise and Stress: How Working Out Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Written by: Stuart Carter,

Dip. PT, Precision Nutrition 1

C.O.O, The Fit Mother Project

Written by: Stuart Carter,

Dip. PT, Precision Nutrition 1

C.O.O, The Fit Mother Project

exercise and stress

Feeling stressed? Are your stress relief tactics not working? Then try working out, as exercise and stress are closely related.

Life is stressful; there is constantly something to do, and the older you get, the worse it seems to become.

Everybody faces constant stimulation through money worries, job insecurities, looking after their children, and a host of other daily events.

In other words, stress is a common factor in life, no matter who you are.

Long-term stress exposure leads to raised blood pressure, coronary disease, strokes, and even immune system issues.

But maintaining an exercise routine can help to reduce your stress levels and improve your health!

Keep reading to discover why exercise and stress are so closely related and how working out can reduce stress and anxiety.

Find out how stress is killing us as we reveal some important research about stress.

The Connection Between Exercise and Stress

When you exercise, your body releases cortisol, the stress hormone.

This magic hormone enables you to work harder and prepare for fight-or-flight situations.

Cortisol redirects energy to your muscles, allowing you to stand and fight or, if necessary, run from danger.

In this situation, exercise and stress are good things that can help you achieve better results.

However, this is different from the stress you experience in everyday life when your body is unable to distinguish between different types of stressful situations.

Your body responds the same, whether you are having a heated debate with your boss or fighting for your life.

Of course, when you stop exercising, the cortisol is no longer released into your body.

You will feel calmer and happy as the endorphins flood your system.

In this way, exercise can relieve some of the daily stress.

But you can do more to combine the effectiveness of exercise and stress!

6 Ways To Adapt Your Routine and Reduce Stress

Commit to an Exercise Program

The Fit Mother Project has an excellent fitness program that can be tailored to your specific needs.

In terms of exercise and stress, the real key is establishing any kind of program.

When you exercise, you focus directly on what you are doing.

The rest of the stresses of the day simply drop away.

Many of these stresses are not actually important and can be completely eliminated with a good workout.

Push Your Limits

The harder you push your body, the harder it will have to work to complete your workouts.

This will increase the flow of endorphins and your focus, ensuring unnecessary stress is forgotten.

But there is more to the link between exercise and stress when pushing your limits.

The more you push, the greater the response to your body.

This approach will heighten your senses and potentially increase your stress levels as you exercise.

But, the moment you finish, you will feel content and relieved; that you achieved something that seemed impossible.

Your stress level will drop dramatically!

Try lifting a heavier weight than normal or running off-road instead of on.

Building strength requires explosive force.

Instead of satisfying yourself with 3 sets of 15 reps, complete 3 sets of 8 reps; with a higher weight.

The risk will reduce stress, and the extra weight will rapidly increase strength and leave you on a high due to the additional push you've given yourself.

Complete a Team Challenge

There is little as satisfying and as fun as completing a challenge as a team.

Not only will you have the satisfaction of having finished successfully, but you will also build the camaraderie that is essential to enjoying and even laughing about the activity.

Laughter is one of the best ways to relieve stress.

Add a team sport into your routine and feel the benefits of laughter yourself!

Focus on the Reward

The thought of a reward is a good incentive to complete anything.

When you undertake a fitness program, you should usually choose a reward that will not damage your hard work.

Equipment or gear are generally better choices than food treats.

After all, no matter how good your exercise routines you cannot out exercise a bad diet!

Obtaining the reward will result in another release of endorphins, making you feel good, relieving stress, and inspiring you to keep training.

Increase Your Short Workouts

Research suggests that the longer you go without exercise, the more stressed you will start to feel.

Instead of making time for a workout at the end of the day, pick a short one you can fit into an early morning or late lunch.

Our YouTube Channel has a host of workouts that can be done in 30 minutes or less.

There are also many micro workouts that can be completed in the workplace.

Doing these regularly each day will go a long way in lowering your stress levels.

Start doing hamstring stretches in morning breaks, a workout at lunch, and a short routine in the evening — it will keep stress at bay!

Track Your Results

The idea of recording your results is not new.

Many people use it to push themselves to do better or to locate when and why they have poorer results.

But tracking your results can be an excellent way of combining exercise and stress to improve your health.

Tracking and studying your figures will show you how you have improved over time, and this will give you a sense of satisfaction, reducing stress.

In addition, it will give you something to aim for every time you exercise, pushing you to work harder and focus only on what matters.

Your stress will simply melt away.

Start tracking your routines today.

You'll be surprised at how good it will make you feel in a week, month, and even year!

Stuart Carter
Dip. PT, Precision Nutrition 1

C.O.O, The Fit Mother Project

Stuart gained his Diploma in Personal Training & Sports Medicine through Premier Global, back in 2001. In 2018, he completed his Level 1 Precision Nutrition qualification.

Throughout his career in Fitness, Stuart has trained hundreds of clients, worked in almost every position in the industry, and ran his own successful training studio.

After a hiatus away from the Fitness industry, working in Corporate Management and Finance, Stuart returned to what he loves… Fitness! This return led to a chance meeting with Dr. Balduzzi, and a place in the Fit Father Project team.

If you’re a busy mom who wants to finally lose weight, get healthy, and actually keep the pounds off for good, this is the simple program you’ll love sticking to…

Our Fit Mother 30X Program (FM30X) is the answer you’ve been looking for. Inside FM30X, you’ll receive:

  • The simple & delicious Fit Mother Meal Plan with easy recipes for you and your family.
  • The metabolism-boosting Fit Mother 30X Workout (under 90 min/week) to kickstart your metabolism for fast fat burning.
  • VIP email coaching where we’ll personally walk you through the program.
Learn More About FM30X

If you’re a busy mom who wants to finally lose weight, get healthy, and actually keep the pounds off for good, this is the simple program you’ll love sticking to…

Our Fit Mother 30X Program (FM30X) is the answer you’ve been looking for. Inside FM30X, you’ll receive:

  • The simple & delicious Fit Mother Meal Plan with easy recipes for you and your family.
  • The metabolism-boosting Fit Mother 30X Workout (under 90 min/week) to kickstart your metabolism for fast fat burning.
  • VIP email coaching where we’ll personally walk you through the program.
Learn More About FM30X

*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on exercise and stress.

Join Fit Father 30X

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Here is what you can expect from us on our Fit Mother Blog and YouTube channel:

  1. All of our content is written and reviewed by licensed health professionals (dieticians, personal trainers, doctors).
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