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Drug Free Solution to Stress

Updated: Apr 25, 2023

April is Stress Awareness Month – a time to focus on the importance of managing stress in our lives. In today’s fast paced world where we want everything done yesterday, stress has become a pervasive part of everyday live, affecting our physical and mental health, relationships, and work.

What is Stress?

Stress is a normal part of life that arises in response to a certain situations or events. It can be caused by external factors such as work, finances or relationships, or by internal factors such as worry and anxiety. When we stress, our bodies respond by releasing hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, which prepare us for our ‘fight or flight’ response. While this response can be helpful in the right situation e.g. to run away from danger, it can be very unhelpful day to day and prolonged exposure to stress can lead to poor health.

Effects of Stress on Our Health

Stress can have a range of negative effects on our physical and mental health. It can lead to headaches, fatigue, difficulty in sleeping, as well as more serious conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Stress can also have a significant impact on our mental health, leading to anxiety, depression and other mood disorders.

Exercise is the most under prescribed solution to stress

While stress is a normal part of life, exercise is a great way to reduce and manage stress. Here are 5 ways exercise can reduce stress:

1.) Endorphin release: Exercise triggers the release of endorphins, which are the chemicals in the brain that promote feelings of pleasure and relaxation. This can help reduce the feelings of stress and anxiety.

2.) Reduced cortisol levels: Exercise can help to reduce levels of cortisol, which is a hormone that is released in response to stress. High levels of cortisol have been linked to a range of negative health outcomes, including health anxiety and depression.

3.) Improved mood: Exercise has been shown to improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. This may be due in part to the release of endorphins but may also be related to other psychological changes that occur during exercise.

4.) Distraction from stressors: Exercise can provide a healthy distraction from stressors in our lives. When we exercise, we are able to focus our attention on something positive and productive, rather than dwelling on negative thoughts or stressors.

5.) Improved physical health: Regular exercise can improve overall physical health and wellbeing, which can help reduce stress in the long term. By improving our physical health we may be better equipped to manage the physical and emotional effects of stress.

You may be reading this thinking ‘that’s all well and good, but I’m too stressed to exercise’, but it doesn’t need to be a huge amount of exercise to get started.

Here are some tips to incorporate more exercise into your life:

1.) Use the stairs rather than the escalator or lift

2.) Balance on one leg while brushing your teeth (swap half way through so that you spend 1 minute on each leg).

3.) If you commute by train or bus, get off a stop early and walk part of your journey

4.) Do something with a friend – go for a walk and grab a coffee

5.) Do something with the children e.g. play football in the garden.

If you are unable to exercise due to back or joint pain, do reach out to us on 01923 283845 as we will be able to help. You can also book online here.

Did you know we have a boutique gym 'Renovate Wellness' inside Chiltern Physiotherapy?

As well as our 13 Pilates classes per week taught by Physiotherapists (click here for info), we are also home to Renovate Wellness - our boutique members only gym that is perfect for those who want a small, personal and friendly adult only gym.

NO Joining Fee, NO long term commitment - rolling monthly contracts.

Full induction, health screening and personalised training programme all included in the price. Have a look at our website or all 01923 283845 for more information. Feel free to or pop in any time for a tour and a chat about how we can help you get more active and live a longer, healthier life.

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