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Exercise and Keep Fit

Any type of exercise can reduce stress. Even gentle exercise helps reduce endorphins that can make you feel better and help take your mind off of what is going on.

We all know that exercise is good for our bodies but it is also good for your mind.

You don’t have to be going for a 26 mile marathon for exercise to be good for you. Any type of exercise can help relieve stress.You don’t have to be a professional athlete either. Even the smalles amount of exercise can go a long long way to helping your body and your mind.

Exercise and stress relief

Exercise increases your overall health and your sense of well-being, which puts more pep in your step every day. But exercise also has some direct stress-busting benefits.

As you begin to regularly take alittle exercise each day the focus on this single task of exercise even for a short time can help you stay calm and focussed on the other problems that we are facing.

Exercise helps calm your mood, increase self-confidence and lower some of the low end symptoms of depression and anxiety. It’s also going to help you sleep.

Stick with it

Starting an exercise program is just the first step. Here are some tips for sticking with a new routine or refreshing a tired workout:

  • Set SMART goals. Write down SMART goals — specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-limited goals.

If your primary goal is to reduce stress in your life, your specific goals might include committing to walking during your lunch hour three times a week. Or try online fitness videos at home

Find a friend. Knowing that someone is waiting for you to show up at the gym or the park can be a powerful incentive. Try making plans to meet friends for walks or workouts. Working out with a friend, co-worker or family member often brings a new level of motivation and commitment to your workouts. And friends can make exercising more fun!

  • Change up your routine. If you’ve always been a competitive runner, take a look at other, less competitive options that may help with stress reduction, such as Pilates or yoga classes. These kinder, gentler workouts may enhance your running while also decreasing your stress.
  • Exercise in short bursts. Even brief bouts of physical activity offer benefits. For instance, if you can’t fit in one 30-minute walk, try a few 10-minute walks instead. Being active throughout the day can add up to provide health benefits. Take a mid-morning or afternoon break to move and stretch, go for a walk, or do some squats or pushups.

Interval training, which entails brief (60 to 90 seconds) bursts of intense activity at almost full effort, can be a safe, effective and efficient way of gaining many of the benefits of longer duration exercise. What’s most important is making regular physical activity part of your lifestyle.

Whatever you do, don’t think of exercise as just one more thing on your to-do list. Find an activity you enjoy — whether it’s an active tennis match or a meditative meander down to a local park and back — and make it part of your regular routine. Any form of physical activity can help you unwind and become an important part of your approach to easing stress.