Financial stress might be a difficult burden to bear, and it can affect every sphere of your life, including your physical health. Exercise is a proven way to alleviate stress and improve your mental and physical well-being. It can also be an effective tool in managing the stress caused by debt.
You Reduce Day-to-day Stress When You Work Out
Exercise is not the magic wand you can use in capping stress way – especially when there are a lot of things stressing people out now. But there is a lot of research done that has shown that working out is going to help reduce stress.
According to Harvard Medical School, aerobic exercise helps in curbing stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol (provided you don’t overdo it) and floods your system with feel-good endorphins. it also increases the release of good-mood brain chemicals dopamine and serotonin. Exercise is going to put low-level physical stress on your body, but it leaves you mentally relaxed.
There was a study published in Lancet Psychiatry that used data from over a million people in the U.S and it found that those who regularly exercised had 43% fewer days per month with poor mental health – these are issues with depressed feelings or stress – compared to those who don’t exercise.
This can be looked at in two ways; people who are happier end up working out more, or people who work out frequently are happier. But give this a shot and see the results you get. The strongest association what those people who worked 30-60 minutes per session, at least three times a week. This is according to the study.
Exercising Makes You Happier
There are many studies that have looked at the link between exercise and happiness, and the results of these studies are positive (just like how you feel after an exercise session). A study done by the University of Vermont found that exercising for just 20 minutes boosts your mood for 12 hours.
There was another study published in the Journal PloS that used activity data from over 10,000 people and it found that people who exercised regularly during the week were happier compared to those who didn’t exercise that much.
Both strength training and cardio can give you a lift, and 30-60 minutes of exercise at least three times a week is enough to see the benefits.
You can be Your Most Confident Self by Feeling Motivated and Strong
When you complete a tough workout, when you felt like you would have rather remained in bed, can give you a confidence boost. When you stick to your plan – especially those that need a lot of flexibility, like taking an at-home workout instead of a gym routine or using the elliptical instead of going out for a run – you start feeling like you can take on the world.
Your morale is also boosted when you see progress – this isn’t just measured by how much you can lift (it can be anything that you can use to challenge yourself when you don’t have a lot of equipment close to you). When you manage your first push-up, you will feel like there isn’t anything you cannot do.
Helps in Thinking More Clearly
Research has shown that exercising helps with cognitive function – this is helpful now when people are feeling scattered. Studies have found that people who engage in aerobic exercise for six months saw an improvement in their scores on tests involving executive function (these are skills that require flexible thinking, memory, and attention). This is according to a study in 2019 that was published in the Journal of Neurology.
Strength training can help in improving cognitive flexibility or the ability to switch between tasks in your mind, according to a meta-analysis of 12 studies in Sports Medicine. Exercise is useful for those suffering with financial stress, an IVA can help those in debt find a manageable way out. Find out all you need to know about an IVA and inheritance here.
Exercising Energizes you
If you find yourself experiencing dips in energy, exercising can help you with that – even though it sounds counterintuitive. A study done by the University of Georgia found that exercise improves blood flow which helps carry nutrients and oxygen to the muscles, which leads to the production of more energy.
The research found that exercising for just 20 minutes on low-to-moderate intensity three days a week for six weeks helps in boosting energy levels and improves fatigue.
Exercise Helps Some People in Managing Anxiety and Depression
When the stress is not just stress, exercise can help with that too. Studies and research have shown people with depression and anxiety can improve by exercising. A healthy lifestyle – getting enough sleep and exercise – helps in combating anxiety, especially when used alongside medication and psychotherapy, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
They also recommend exercise and physical activity as a way of feeling better when treating depression. When all of these treatment approaches work together, you will start to see an improvement.
When you are suffering from any mental health condition, you shouldn’t be using exercise as a stand-alone treatment. There hasn’t been any proof that exercise treats a condition the same way medications or therapy do. You will also find it challenging to motivate yourself to exercise when you are dealing with a mental health condition.
The important thing you need to keep in mind is it is something that people have found to be helpful with their mental health condition, but it is never a substitute for standard mental health care.
Exercising Gives You Structure During a Chaotic Time
If you are one of the people who were forced to quarantine or social distance because of the pandemic, then you might be working from home and spending most of your time there.
When this happens, the hours start feeling endless, and it can be a challenge to differentiate your home time from work time. You can use exercise to give structure to your day. Begin the day with a run or a brisk walk so it charges you up for the work day, or end your work hours so you can get out of work mode.
Make sure you keep a regular workout schedule because it is going to add some sense of normalcy to the chaos. After some time, everything feels normal and structured. You will notice a difference.