Stress Everyone Differently
Stress is something we experience at some point in our lives, affecting us all in different ways. The effects of stress can lead to disease and days off work. Stress can become chronic and debilitating. However, in reality, stress is a natural response. It helps us cope with life’s challenges.
There is now evidence too much stress can affect our heart, and lead to cardiovascular illness. Because of this there has been a focus on behavioural stress reduction. This focus, is looking at healing potential via life-style changes. The self-care-centre approach looks at mind-body medicine, using relaxation exercises, nutritional counselling, and cognitive behaviour techniques.
How Exercise Helps
Stress in the brain targets pathways that link to mood, motivation, fear, and reward. Exercise directly impacts these same pathways, which is called the limbic system. Exercise thereby has the potential to improve your mood. It does this by releasing specific compounds into the brain. These compounds behave similarly to morphine and nitric oxide.
Exercise can help to reduce not only the emotional stress that we experience every day, but also helps to reduce biological stress. The biological response of the body in a stressful situation is to increase the heart and breathing rate. Prolonged levels of biological stress can cause increased blood pressure, this is caused hypertension. Regular physical activity has been found to be an effective way to control hypertension. Another biological response that occurs, is brain oxidative stress. Exercise has been found to help reduce the free radicals that naturally build up in our brains, thereby reducing oxidative stress.
Recommended Daily Exercise to Help with Stress
There are many more stress benefits from exercise. For more information about the Australian guidelines for recommended daily healthy exercise, please visit: