9/17/2006

Exercise Can Help Control Stress

People who exercise regularly will tell you they feel better.

Here are four ways exercise controls stress, according to the American Council on Exercise:

1. Exercise can help you feel less anxious. Following a session of exercise, clinicians have measured a decrease in electrical activity of tensed muscles.
2. Exercise can relax you. One exercise session generates 90 to 120 minutes of relaxation response.
3. Exercise can make you feel better about yourself. That feeling of self-worth contributes to stress relief.
4. Exercise can make you eat better. And it's no secret that good nutrition helps your body manage stress better.

Activities you can choose from:
Aerobic activity - All it takes is 20 minutes' worth, six to seven days a week.
Yoga - Recent studies have shown that when large muscle groups repeatedly contract and relax, the brain receives a signal to release specific neurotransmitters, which in turn make you feel relaxed and more alert.
Recreational sports - require the kind of vigorous activity that rids your body of stress- causing adrenaline and other hormones.

Don't try exercising in your office. Outdoors or away from the office is the best place to find a stress-free environment. Even a corporate fitness center can have too many work-related thoughts for some people.

Click here to read the whole story from the American Council on Exercise