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The Benefits of Exercising

When life starts to get intense exercise can be just the thing you need to de-stress.

How it works

When you’re stressed with work, study, or life in general, your body releases chemicals like adrenaline to keep you alert. But because you’re not actively using these chemicals, they build up making you feel more and more stressed. Physical exercise acts as a stress reliever because it allows you to release the energy and excess chemicals that are sitting in your body, waiting to be used. When you exercise your body also releases hormones called endorphins, that make you feel good. (They’re released when you eat chocolate too!)

The mental benefits

Not only does exercise physically relieve stress, but it can serve as a distraction, giving your mind a break, allowing it to breathe and refresh itself. Exercise can make you more alert and able to concentrate, therefore increasing your productivity when you get back to the desk.

Exercise has also been found to help fight depression and anxiety, and just generally help with your mental state and maintaining a positive attitude.

Tips for incorporating exercise into your regime:

We’re not saying you have to go for a 10km run next time you’re worried about a test (although if that works, more power to you!) It’s a simple as taking just ten minutes away from your desk to clear your mind. Try some of the following:

Yoga

Try this ten minute yoga sequence for some deep breathing and stretching.

Walking

Chuck on your runners and walk out the door. Even just a short walk can be enough to make you feel better and increase concentration.

Getting “puffed”

Studies show that anything that gets your heart rate up will work. This could be walking, running, swimming, cycling, boxing, pilates – your choice, anything that fits into your lifestyle.

Breathing

While not exactly exercise, breathing can be a surprisingly easy way to make yourself feel better when life is catching up to you. When you’re stressed, your body can subconsciously make you breathe shallow breaths from the chest, which keeps you feeling tense. Take ten minutes to sit in a quiet place where you wont’ be disturbed and just breath slowly and deeply. You will feel much more relaxed and be able to function better when you’re back at work. Better Health has some tips for how to do this effectively.

Consult your doctor

If you have any concerns with starting an exercise regime or any health issues that you think may have an impact, have a chat to your doctor about the best exercise for you.