We all have stressful days, and after a long, hard day, the last thing anybody wants to do is exercise. Yet, that’s exactly what we should do! Getting in a good workout after a stressful day is a wonderful way not only to work off that stress, but also to keep up with your workout plan!
You may have heard of “Runner’s High”. Many times, strenuous exercise (for example, when running at a moderate-to-high level, and you have a hard time breathing) brings on a feeling of calmness and euphoria. Well, a study in 2004 by Georgia Tech found that Runner’s High was likely triggered by a release of naturally produced body chemical, the endocannabinoid anandamide. The body produces this chemical to deal with prolonged stress and pain from strenuous exercise. So, when you have had a stressful day, a good workout actually causes your body to release chemicals that can relax and calm your mind!
Additionally, a new study confirms what many of already know: Regular exercise is one of the best ways to combat daily stress. Researchers at the University of Texas, Houston, asked 135 college students to fill out questionnaires to assess their daily stress loads as well as their moods, physical activity patterns and overall health.
Those who reported exercising less often experienced 37 percent more physical symptoms and 21 percent more anxiety during periods of high stress than those who exercised more frequently.
The results seem to show that vigorous exercise may have offered students a temporary respite from their problems, and helped them to rejuvenate before they had to go back and deal with the pressure of daily stress.
According to lead researcher Dr. Cindy L. Carmack, ”Minor, everyday stress contributes to the development and exacerbation of physical and mental health problems. However, people experiencing minor stress develop different degrees of symptoms, depending on their level of physical activity.”
And, by workout out even when you’re stressed also can help your mental game when you’re trying to stay committed to a fitness regime. The next time you want to skip a workout, you can look back and remember how good you felt the last time you worked out and tried to skip your daily workout – and why you’re glad you didn’t!