If you have been paying attention to the news lately, you have probably noticed two things: people are getting heavier, and they are experiencing a lot more stress. It’s hard to imagine that this is a simple coincidence. In fact, a lot of the complications of obesity and stress are the same. The good news is that there may be a single solution to both problems, and that is exercise. Exercise can help you lose weight by burning calories, and it can also help relieve stress by releasing feel-good chemicals known as endorphins. Let’s look at both of these benefits of exercise in a bit more detail.
The more you weigh, the more physical stress you will put on your body. The question is whether or not that physical stress translates into mental stress. Unfortunately, there is no solid answer to that question yet. However, there is plenty of evidence that losing weight is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health. And you can only lose weight by burning more calories than you take in. One way to accomplish this is through exercise. You don’t even have to do that much of it. As few as 30 minutes per day, most days of the week can start to add up. What you do for exercise isn’t all that important. What counts is that you are getting active and burning off some of those extra calories.
Exercise can also reduce your level of stress by releasing endorphins. These are chemicals that make you feel good, and are responsible for what’s known as “runner’s high”. Endorphins are somewhat similar to morphine and will help to relieve stress.
When you make exercise a part of your normal routine, the endorphins will be released more often, and you will get the stress-relieving benefits more often, too. This good feeling isn’t just there during the workout, but it can last for several hours after you are finished exercising. There is also something therapeutic about exercise, as it helps you blow off steam. All of those little frustrations you face every day suddenly start to vanish. This beats the alternative of letting all of the frustration build up until you explode in an uncontrollable (and potentially dangerous) fit of rage.
Getting rid of frustration in a healthy manner is so much better than doing other things. Exercise is a natural way to handle stress, so there’s no need to take questionable medications or engage in risky behaviors to forget about your troubles. If you have a lot of stress to get rid of, then have a more intensive workout. On the other hand, if you would just like to have a lower level of stress overall, then regular exercise is a smart choice. It can help you lose weight, relieve stress, and be healthier, too.