Have you ever noticed when Government Leaders are traveling overseas the TV grab is often about them jogging with their security staff? Have you ever seen an over-weight CEO being interviewed on TV or photographed in the paper? What’s the connection and what may they know and we may not?
I am certainly not the first and nor will I be the last to write about the connection on how regular exercise helps in managing stress. I have been a susceptible to stress since I started off as a manager at McDonalds working 70 hrs per week under high pressure. Stress would attack me in many ways, whether that is not sleeping, ulcers, anger, more pronounced flu’s and being generally run down.
Stress also effects your inter-personal relationships at work and home, you become short with people, people ask, “what’s up with Jack? “. Stress can compound so that if you have financial stress at home and job stress at work your world can seem like it is caving in on you.
Further, many other more qualified people have written about the link between stress and other forms of long-term illness.
So what does exercise do that counters stress? Well, exercise blows away bad hormones like cortisol and it pumps up good hormones like endorphins which make you feel on a high. Exercise also has the capacity to move you into a meditation like state which takes your mind off stressful environment and let’s you chill-out.
What’s my exercise regime? Well, I try to get to the gym for 30mins three times per week, I try and walk everywhere, and I try and take 1 hr for lunch even if to go for a walk, I go surfing as often as I can. If you speak to ANY surfer they will tell you “I leave my troubles on the shore “ it is such an amazing way to get some meditation time. I have friends that run and they say the same thing.
Do I fail in my regime? Yes, every week but I keep at it. When I start to feel really stressed I get off coffee, sugar, alcohol and start to exercise.
Are you feeling stressed? Here is my suggestion:
• If you feel really stressed then go see a Doctor, get your blood pressure checked and ask for advice.
• Look at your diet and try and clean it up and remove stimulants
• Do what you need to start exercising. For some you must join a gym and must see a personal trainer once a week or month. For others it’s strapping on the runners or waxing up your board or putting on the bike helmet.
• Go for a walk with friend or loved one and share what is stressing you, doing it sitting down makes you both feel bad so doing it while moving means you feel great afterwards.
Next time you see Obama or Brown or Rudd on TV running remind yourself they are doing this because they have the most stressful jobs in the world and they are doing something about it.
For further reading check out:
Exercise as a Stress Management Modality
Exercise: Rev up your routine to reduce stress (Mayo Clinic)
What do you do to manage stress? Write to me and please rate this posting below. Thanks.