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FITNESS AND FUEL

Let's Get Physical!

"Lowering stress levels with exercise"
By: James BarramedaLet's Get Physical!

Since stress basically causes your body to go haywire, it is best that you avoid it as much as possible. If you cannot avoid dealing with stressful situations, there are other ways to keep your stress level under control. Doctors and physical trainers both agree that a great way to deal with stress and fight its negative side effects is by keeping a physically active lifestyle.

Exercising helps combat the effects of stress by bringing the body out of its clammed-up condition and releasing tension and pent-up frustration from your muscles. It also increases the flow of oxygen and helps your body relax more.

To lower stress levels, spending 15 to 30 minutes to exercise for about twice or five times a week is highly recommended. Choose any physical activity that you like—walking, running, biking, swimming, etc. The duration and intensity of your exercise can start from low but you’ll have to slowly increase the pace and time as you go along.

How does exercise kill stress? It busts out the negative side effects of stress by burning away stress-causing chemicals like norepinephrine and cortisol. Vigorous exercise also releases morphine-like hormones called “endorphins” into your system. Endorphins are responsible for the feeling of elation or exhilaration after vigorous activity.

Apart from endorphins, exercise also triggers the release of other chemicals like dopamine and serotonin, which give you a feeling of security and safety. These two chemicals contribute to off-setting undesirable emotions that can also cause stress: pessimism, negativity, and uncertainty. Exercise not only benefits you physically, it also helps combat anxiety and depression. Who needs prescription anti-depressants when all you need to do is start moving about more?

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