3 Ways Exercise Helps to Reduce Stress

A Walk in Nature

3 ways exercise helps to reduce stress

Outdoor exercise helps to reduce stress, I know that to be true for myself! Even experts have found a link between exercise and stress reduction especially when done outdoors in nature. When you move in nature whether on a hike, trail run, biking, or walk you are reducing the level of stress hormones in your body. Saying bye to adrenaline and cortisol in your body helps you feel calmer and more peaceful. Exercising also releases the feel-good neurotransmitters, endorphins. These work like natural painkillers; decreasing our stress and helping us get to a more relaxed state of mind. One of my favorite ways to get movement in nature is a walk along the beach at sunrise or sunset! When you feel the stress kick in, get outside to move your body and take in the fresh air. If you’re needing some inspiration, check out these 8 exercise ideas to reduce stress and anxiety.

It’s a Moving Meditation

3 ways exercise helps to reduce stress

If you’ve ever taken a yoga class then you know that grounded, peaceful feeling that comes while lying in savasana at the end of class. You’ve spent time moving through emotions and stressors your body was holding to be able to sit in stillness at the end and see life with clarity and fresh vision. This doesn’t just come from yoga. Spending time moving your body in any way you most enjoy does the trick. When you move your body you’re letting go of the tension your body is holding from whatever the stressor might be. Make time for a few moments of quiet after you exercise to savor the renewed focus and peace you’ve created in your body.

Improves Sleep

Stress and anxiety can keep you up at night and turn into an overwhelming cycle of sleeplessness, fatigue, increased stress, repeat. With a regular rhythm of exercise, you can interrupt that cycle. Movement is helping your body and mind release the build-up of stress hormones and pumping you up with feel-good endorphins which promote less disruptive sleep.
When you feel those stressors kicking in and taking over hit the pause button, get moving (just 10-15 minutes can help!), and find your center again.

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