Using Fitness to Help Manage Stress

Fitness can be used as a healthy way to deal with stress and manage chronic stressors in life.  Physical trainer schools have noted the benefits of having an active lifestyle to reduce stress and combat fatigue.  When we have a lot of stress in our lives, our bodies respond by producing a hormone called cortisol.  Cortisol buildup in the body can wreak havoc on your health and fitness goals.  High levels of stress and cortisol in the body has been linked to weight gain, thyroid problems, poor quality of sleep, and chronic fatigue.  Exercising naturally reduces cortisol in the body, which reduces stress and many of the negative effects that stress causes to the body.  Physical trainer training teaches instructors how to individualize each exercise program to meet the unique needs and demands of each client. 

Managing stress with fitness doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be focusing on breathing and meditation.  There are many different types of calming exercises that can help with focus and redirection of stress.  Pilates instructor programs create challenging movements that can reduce stress, improve flexibility, and build lean muscle tissue.  Barre exercises can also be calming and are low impact so all fitness levels can participate and benefit from them.  Program health wellness coaches are great resources for individuals who want to increase their fitness and decrease their stress.  They provide a holistic approach that addresses many aspects of your life, not just the fitness or personal training plan.  They take career stress, sleep patterns, daily dietary habits, and personal support into consideration and help clients make small changes in other areas to help support the fitness and wellness aspects. 

Many endurance sports can be used to manage stress as well.  Running can help individuals battle stress and build cardiovascular fitness to support physical and mental health.  Long bike rides can help clear the mind as well while working towards personal fitness goals.  If your family experiences a lot of stress as a family unit, participate in stress reducing activities together such as long walks or hiking.  Younger children enjoy more creative exercises such as jumping rope and hula hoops, thinking they are just having fun.  Weighted jump ropes and weighted hula hoops can be used by the adults to burn extra calories and tone up the body while enjoying family time.  If you are having a difficult time finding the right fitness class or activity to help battle stress, reach out to a professional personal trainer.  They can help you identify stressors in your life and create a personalized training plan to counter those daily stressors in addition to helping you identify realistic fitness goals and designing a program to get you there. Every person experiences stress at some point in their life.  While we cannot always control the reasons that stress enters our lives, we can choose how we deal with it and how we respond to it. Fitness and exercise play a healthy role in battling stress and lowering cortisol levels in the body.

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