Simple Strategies To Overcome Stress With Exercise

This article was first seen on To see original article, click here. I have a scary visual for you. Did you know that 7 out of 10 adults in the United States say they experience stress or anxiety on a daily basis?


This isn’t the dinosaur chasing you type of stress our ancestors (very old ancestors) dealt with.

No, it’s modern day media in your face, boss yelling in your ear, and constant barrage of emails screeching in your inbox kind of stress.

Whether you’re in aviation or a number crunching junky on wall street, stress affects every part of your body.

We've talked about stress many times (hereherehere and here) and what you can do to combat it.

Just like your nutrition habits, you're more than likely to make excuses for easy remedies. There are a ton of easy workouts that can help relieve stress.

The benefits of exercise

Exercise isn’t just for health junkies (that would be me) and bodybuilders (only in my dreams).

Getting active is a natural human occurrence. Just until the 20th century have we plopped our butts into chairs for hours at a time. Thank you TV and thank you modern-day business environments.

We've not only become sedentary, but also neglected the best ways to alleviate stress.

Exercising is one of these ways.

Brain - body connection: Stress directly affects the brain with its vast nerve connections, so when your brain is stressed so is your body. Taking care of both is crucial to your stress busting endeavors.

Endorphin processing greatness: When you’re physically active your body produces endorphins, the little chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers.

Improved sleep: Research has shown that exercise increases slow wave sleep, the most restorative type. It also balances your circadian rhythm promoting daytime alertness and night-time “sleepiness.”

A form of meditation: When you're physically active you’ll often times forget about the days’ irritations and focus only on what you're doing in the moment. This brief single task focus (meditation) may help you keep calm in everything you do.

Increases confidence: When you set exercise goals and achieve them you get a boost in self-confidence. Not to mention the added benefit of how you look in the mirror.

Increases oxygen to the brain: Exercising increases your heart rate, which pumps more oxygen to your brain. Simple right? It also stimulates the brain's plasticity by stimulating growth of new connections between cells. Research also suggests that it increases growth factors, making it easier for your brain to grow neuronal connections.

3 steps to becoming more active

“I’m too tired”, “I don't have time”, “Exercise isn’t fun”, blah, blah, blah.

We often make excuses for things we do not enjoy and things in which we do not have a goal for.

Exercise is much easier if you're focused on a goal.

Step 1: Set a goal to reduce stress levels by 50%. Write it down and post it somewhere you always look.

Next, think of 7-10 activities you enjoy and write them down.

Step 2: Commit to doing 1 activity for 15 - 30 minutes per day for one week. Rotate the activities each day.

Activities such as throwing the frisbee, walking the dog, climbing a tree, chasing your kids around the house, jump roping, boxing, and the list can go on.

The next and final step is to get moving at work.

Step 3: Choose 2 strategies that help you become more active at the office

I do an office workout and use a stand-up desk every day.

Office workouts that relieve stress are a great strategy to keep blood flowing and to ease your mind. Yes, even during an AOG.

Gone are the days of spending hours in the gym, just add activity into your daily life.

How do you get physically active during the day? If you don’t, explain why. Comment below.