Life is full of surprises and some life events often cause Stress and anxiety. There may be a sudden transition of life for some people. Unexpected moments like losing a new job, contracting an illness and other serious issues can cause stress. The future cannot be predicted but can be relieved from stress in healthy ways.
During stress, about 1500 biochemical reactions can occur in the body. Some parts of the body (example cardiovascular system) accelerates the functions and other parts (example gastrointestinal system) slows down their operations during stress. During this situation, neurotransmitters can be activated and release hormones so that nutrients can be metabolized. This is commonly referred as the fight of flight response.
In prehistoric times, the body is being prepared to extend physical energy for survival. But in modern times, most human stress is due to psycho-social in nature so the need to respond physically is unnecessary. But the byproducts of stress response continues to circulate in the body and may cause physical illness (example cortisol secretion’s impact on the immune system). Regular exercise can reduce the impact of stress and allows the body to return to homeostasis faster.
A research shows that expression or repression of anger and hostility can lead to disease progression. Regular exercise can release the negative energy physically. If one gets in a racquetball court and bangs away at that ball, or beats up on their pillow can release the physical energy which can dissipate the feelings of anger in a healthy way.
During stress, there will be a contraction in muscles (Bracing) and it tends to loose its normal resting tone. Physical activity allows the muscles to work which releases stored energy and make the muscles to return to its normal resting position. It can reduce the pain and discomfort caused due to muscular tension (example tension headaches, arthritic joint pain, backache, temporomandibular joint dysfunction) which can cause stress. Stretching and yoga also help to reduce muscular tension.
When a physical activity is done for twenty minutes or more, it can increase the catecholamines including β endorphins. Chemically, similar to opiate compounds this morphine can cause analgesic(pain relieving) effect and promotes a sense of euphoria. This mechanism is called as second wind or runner’s high as the presence and effect of these chemical compounds is now controversial in the brain. The positive mood states associated with frequent exercise can be suggested as the effective treatment for clinical depression than either psychotherapy or the use of anti-depression drugs.
The individual should choose the exercise which is enjoyable for them. They should enjoy their activities which they perceive should be fun than compared to those that are considered as pure drudgery.
The activities should be non-competitive and ego void.
Choose activities that promote personal satisfaction and also positive feelings regarding your performance.
The duration of exercise depends on the goals of an individual. It is recommended to exercise frequently to get in shape quicker.