Wellness Wednesday: Exercise and Stress


Feeling some stress? Look no further than some good old exercise as an effective, and enjoyable, way to manage and reduce stress.

The Wall Street Journal had a story recently featuring some comments from Brad Roy, the executive director of the Summit Medical Fitness Center in Kalispell, Montana.

When faced with a stressful situation, “stress response hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol are released via the sympathetic nervous system. The heart rate increases, causing blood vessels to constrict, blood pressure to increase and mental acuity to go up as a result of fight or flight response,” he says. “Exercise stimulates the release of endorphins and neurotransmitters that help relieve the stress response and cardiovascular responses that modulate stress.”

Dr. Roy also notes that besides the physiological changes that exercise brings, it helps mentally as well. It can get your mind off of a stressful issue, and help relax the mind.

Dr. Roy also points out that one should choose the type of exercise that relaxes them, not something that could cause more stress. In addition, he points out that regular exercise is the key to enabling the mind and body to better deal with stress over the long term, and not just exercising when one is stressed.

Exercise – it does the body, and the mind, good.

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