In today’s fast paced world the effects of stress is having a huge impact on people’s physical and mental health. The lifestyle of a high paced schedule of rushing around from work to school and social activities with family and friends often carries over to our exercise habits too; this can really take a toll on your heath.
While its true exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle some activities such as running, extreme speed bicycling, high impact cardio workouts and exercising of this nature can be hard on your body and increase your stress levels. Exercises such as yoga and tai chi are excellent low impact stretching and relaxation techniques that can help reduce stress related health issues and improve your general outlook on life and mood. Research studies have shown that de-stressing types of exercise has many physiological and psychological benefits that may far out weigh high impact exercising.
The impact of stress can seriously affect your health, the body has a unique way of responding to stress, and below you will find what your body’s response is:
- The first response to stress when detected by your sympathetic nervous system is from your adrenal glands. It automatically pumps adrenaline and norepinephrine into your blood system, this alters the state of your body physically and typically not in a healthy way (unless during a fight or flight situation). Initially some of these changes can be beneficial, but for prolonged periods (more than a few minutes) the effects can be very detrimental.
- When your sympathetic nervous system is exposed to stress for longer periods of more than a few minutes the hypothalamus and pituitary glands instruct the adrenal glands to produce a hormone called Cortisol, which as mentioned in short bursts is very good for you, but can be harmful when people are exposed to long term stress.
- Scientific studies have shown over production of cortisol has been found to be linked to diabetes, reduced immune system function, abdominal fat (which can lead to heart disease), stomach ulcers, depression, chronic pain, and increased respiratory and asthmatic disorders.
Who Is At Risk For Becoming Over Stressed
Type A personality is clinically documented by psychiatric studies, people who have type A personalities are often the over achievers who think they have to do “everything” and are not able to delegate tasks or work to others, they typically complain of always feeling over taxed and “stressed out”, yet be the one who has to get their ten mile run in or hit the gym at ten at night after a grueling day.
But Type A personalities are not the only ones who suffer from stress. Technology is also a big contributor to stress and today many people are over technologized, feeling they must always be available online for their jobs or texting late into the evening while still feeling the need to get in a thirty minute cardio exercise class or hitting the stair master before bed. In the busy, often hectic life people are living anyone has the propensity to be over stressed these days and finding alternative solutions to de-stressing is just what doctors are recommending.
What You Can Do To Relieve Your Stress Through Exercise In A Healthy Way
Of course some cardio exercise is good for you and depending on what your doctor recommends for your particular health status some cardio should be included as long as it is something you enjoy doing. However yoga and tai chi are providing young and old alike a great body of information to achieving more joy in your life and a healing sense of peace everyone can benefit from. Slow movement exercises that include deep breathing translate into a type of meditation and its principals also encourage a healthy diet and proper amounts of sleep, all these things can reverse damage done in our daily hectic lives.
There are numerous forms of slow movement exercises you can do that will:
- Slow your breathing rate (which can induce relaxation)
- Decrease your heart rate which can lower blood pressure
- Relax muscle tension
- Help regulate blood sugar levels
- Rebalance hormone levels
- Memory and mental acuity can be enhanced
- Brain activity slows giving your body cells a chance to heal and have time to restore your organs
Always consult your physician before making any changes in your health regimen, but most United States doctors now embrace this century’s old method of wellness and healing.