Diet, Training & Fitness QuestionsDoes Exercise Help to Reduce My Stress?
Mary Edwrds Staff asked 3 years ago

I am an entrepreneur with busy and stressful day to day work. I’ve been told by a few folks that running or walking can help me to lower my stress level but was wondering if there is any type of fitness/training activity that I can start in my limited time.

1 Answers
Matthew Nicholson Staff answered 3 years ago

I can give you 3 simple things that can affect your stress level:

– Exercise: Physical activity increases the brain’s serotonin levels, which combats the stress hormone cortisol. One exercise session of 30 to 45 minutes can increase relaxation for 90 to 120 minutes. Exercise, over time, raises your threshold for stress. If you can go for a quick walk, stay away from caffeine and sugar for a few hours, and take some deep breaths, then you will come back less stressed and ready to focus on the task at hand. Just keep in mind that exercise also causes a temporary increase in cortisol which can leave you a bit jittery if you are trying to go to sleep with an hour or two of exercising. So, if you exercise in the evening, arrange it that you will have 3-4 hours before you are trying to fall asleep for a more restful sleep.

-Diet: Foods rich in anti-oxidants like many fruits and vegetables are your best bet for snack foods. Limit foods high in sugar and drinks high in caffeine in order to have a more relaxing evening prior to sleeping.

-Sleep: Some people with insomnia also have high levels of cortisol in their blood stream when trying to fall asleep. But regardless of diet and exercise, if you are not getting enough sleep / rest, you will not handle stress very well and succumb to the side effects of a stressed out life.