The word stress tends to come with negative connotations. But there are times where physical stress is actually really good for your overall health. To achieve the right kind of physical stress, you need to participate in regular exercise. So, whether you are challenging yourself on your treadmill, on the court, or in a fitness class, check out these benefits of good physical stress:
Start Your Day With A Kick Of Norepinephrine
The hormone norepinephrine is released as a response to stress. It is usually accompanied by adrenaline. When not purposefully induced by exercise, norepinephrine is part of your fight-or-flight response. From being involved in a car accident or preparing to present at work, you can bet norepinephrine is present and flooding your body.
Research has shown that norepinephrine can:
- Sharpen focus
- Speed up response time
- Help manage depression
- Regulate emotions
Your body naturally produces norepinephrine when exercising. By engaging in regular fitness, you can improve your body’s ability to use norepinephrine. So, instead of starting off the morning groggy and clutching a cup of coffee, fit in a workout to allow norepinephrine to wake you up!
Use Exercise To Regulate Cortisol Release
Cortisol is commonly known as the stress hormone. Most of the cells in your body have receptors for cortisol, so it can do a variety of things. It is a natural steroid,
and its release allows your body to react appropriately to situations.
You need a regulated balance of cortisol. There are consequences to having either too much or too little cortisol.
- Too much cortisol – When the body has to deal with too much, it can develop Cushing’s Syndrome. Some of the symptoms associated with the syndrome are weight gain in the chest and midsection, muscle weakness, thin bones, high blood sugar, and more.
- Too little cortisol – Those with damaged adrenal glands suffer from Addison’s Disease. Since cortisol is produced from the adrenal glands, your body will not be able to receive enough cortisol if the adrenal glands are not working. Some of the symptoms of damaged adrenal glands are nausea, skin discoloration, poor recovery from injuries and infections, exhaustion, and more.
To achieve ideal cortisol levels, research shows you need to engage in moderate to high-intensity exercise to have an effect on your cortisol levels. While exercises like yoga have physical benefits, you will need to engage in higher intensity exercises to regulate your cortisol levels.
Some good moderate to high-intensity exercises you can do are:
- Run a few times a week with a friend.
- Take movement-intense dance classes like hip-hop and Zumba.
- Swim laps, changing strokes to keep your body engaged.
By physically stressing your body with regular exercise, you can create a good overall impact on your mental and physical health. So, prioritize your health and make time to stress your body out.