Exercise for Stress Reduction: by Cynthia Cortini Exercise the Blues Away!

Gym group exercisingExercise provides a profound physiologic benefit resulting in mood elevation and stress reduction. Research has proven that aerobic exercise raises the level of the neurotransmitter endorphin which triggers feelings of well-being and is a natural pain killer.  Along with this effect is the reduction in the activity of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system that increase blood pressure and heart rate, which is a characteristic physiologic response to stress. Exercise can make you feel better psychologically and can stimulate metabolism, promote body growth and repair, and increase endurance as well as the ability to relax and sleep well. Endorphins released during exercise enhance mental performance and learning ability, lessen fatigue and give relief from pain caused by lack of use of joints and muscles. Exercise is an important component of overall health, and stimulates and maintains endocrine health, toning hormone producing glands; thyroid, pancreas and adrenal glands that balance your mood and energy and generally promote wellness. Exercise can reduce levels of the stress hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline which can stimulate stress response and elevate blood pressure and levels of blood lipids that could lead to hardening of the arteries, heart attacks and stroke. Exercise raises our threshold for distress and urges us on to higher levels of productivity and achievement by reducing the probability that stress will become distress.

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