Exercise and Stress Management

Apr 10, 2015 by Alex Ackerley | fitness

The kids are sick, we're travelling to visit the family at the weekend, Dog needs to go to the vet AND I have a quarterly meeting at work.

Sound familiar? It does to me… Life is a constant series of obstacles and challenges sent to try us and help improve us – I think. Now whatever your take on the difficulties of day to day life, I'm going to go ahead and split you in to one of two groups of people…

Group A
Group A people usually prefer to work out later in the day (or should I say they hate workouts less later in the day), they don't really exercise outside of the gym and as such they don't have a lot of athletic confidence, they experience colds and bugs on a more regular basis. These people do not think of exercie when it comes to their recreation time.

The people in group A will recognize these periods of increased stress and cut out their physical activity so that they can focus on the parts of their life are causing stress.

Group B
Group B people tend to work out in the morning, they're active at the weekends and enjoy active recreation, they are sick less frequently and rarely feel overwhelmed in times of stress.

These people recognize periods of increased stress and they understand that exercise is a key part of their stress management!

I know what you might think. Exercise itself is stressful, well it may be the case that you sweat and pant for an hour or so – but how do you feel AFTER?
The facts are this,
-exercise reduces Cortisol (our bodies stress hormone),
-and increases endorphins and dopamine in the brain.
-This makes us more alert,
-better at concentrating,
-happier,
-AND even lowers our risk of heart disease
-and obesity.

Does this man seem stressed to you?

And if you're talking about personal training or group exercise classes, well the bang for your buck is even greater – you can just turn off your brain, show up and sweat. The experts will worry about the rest for you!

It seems to me that when life is getting stressful, we shouldn't be looking to cut down on our usual exercise. We should be trying harder than ever to squeeze in that workout. Next time, prioritize that workout.

Trust me, you'll thank yourself.

Author: Alex Ackerley

Owner of Better-Bodies Health Solutions, Alex came to Vancouver from England in 2007 and hit the ground running. As a rehab specialist he honed his craft for two years before following his passion for sports performance (Alex played professional Rugby in England and New Zealand and has represented Canada in international 7’s) and opening up to general population clients. He built from there, meeting his now wife and business partner Melanie. Together they started Better-Bodies in 2011 and have combined the mantras of Holistic Nutrition with Functional performance based training to help enhance the lives of their clients. Alex has a degree in Sport & Exercise Science and is a certified Titleist Golf fitness Professional.