Get a Handle on Stress with Physical Fitness

Image for exercise and motivation article Stress is difficult to define. It may come from one or many sources. It may be brief, or last a long time. It may be one thing, or a combination of many things. Work, family life, money, and even weather can make you feel anxious, tired, or even depressed. Stress can cause physical changes as well. You may notice a change in sleep patterns or your appetite. It can cause stomach distress and headaches. Over time it can even contribute to serious health issues like heart disease.Physical activity is one of the best ways to relieve stress. It is a fast way to set you on the right track to better overall health.

How Physical Fitness Helps You

Exercise is YOU time. It is an opportunity to give your mind a break and help your body relax. Using physical activity to combat stress has been shown to:
  • Boost your mood
  • Boost your self-confidence
  • Relieve anxiety and feelings of depression
  • Improves alertness
  • Gives you a better night's sleep—which will also make you feel even better
The best thing about physical activity is that you can start at any age, in any condition, and see positive results.

How to Get Started

It's always a good idea to talk with your doctor before starting any exercise program . Getting good advice from the start is the place to start. Once that is done, the best thing is to find something you like doing. Start slowly and build up. You want to create a lifelong habit, not dropout after the first few weeks because of injuries or misery. Remember, the trick is to reduce stress, not create more, so take your time and have fun! Here are some tips to start the process:
  • Do something fun (alone or with a buddy).
  • Listen to music that gets you pumped up and makes you feel good.
  • Don't give up if you miss a few days. Accept it, move on, and get back out there. It will eventually become a habit.
Remember that exercise does not have to be structured. Any physical activity like dancing to music, a stroll at lunch, or playing with your kids can make you feel better. Moderate exercise for as little as 5 minutes can improve your mood.

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