With seven out of ten adults in the United States reporting stress or anxiety daily, stress is a common occurrence in people’s lives. Although stress is impossible to avoid altogether, there are ways to help manage it, one being exercise.
Exercise has many well-known physical benefits, including weight control and disease prevention. However, many people don’t realize that exercise has many other health benefits, like improving mood, boosting energy, improving sleep quality, and reducing stress.2 Physical activity works in many ways to improve how the body handles stress. It increases the neurotransmitters in the brain, like serotonin and dopamine, which boost mood and promote feelings of satisfaction. It also improves the levels of endorphins in the body, which activate the body’s opiate receptors, improving mood and reducing pain. Additionally, it reduces the levels of stress hormones in the body, like adrenaline and cortisol.3,4
The current health recommendations of 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week fit the recommendations for exercise in stress management. Additionally, breaking exercise into smaller bouts of 10-15 minutes throughout the day can help combat stress.4 So, next time you are feeling stressed, try one of these easy ways to get some exercise:
If you have questions or want more guidance on getting moving and manage your stress, please contact your local Athletico Physical Therapy clinic and schedule a free assessment. Free Assessments are available in-clinic and virtually through our Telehealth platform.
*Per federal guidelines, beneficiaries of plans such as Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, VHA and other federally funded plans are not eligible for free assessments.
The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.
1. Physical activity reduces stress. Physical Activity Reduces Stress | Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA.
2. 7 great reasons why exercise matters. Mayo Clinic. October 2021.
3. Exercising to relax – Harvard health publishing. Harvard Health. July 2020.
4. Jackson EM. Stress relief: The role of exercise in stress management: ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal. LWW.