5 Ways Exercise Helps Relieve Stress

April is National Stress Awareness Month and if you’ve been feeling a little stressed out, know that you are not alone! A recent Youfit Health Clubs survey found over 70% of respondents suffer from daily or weekly stress. While the most common stressors were work and finances, the most common way respondents de-stress is by working out. In fact, the survey found 31% of people deal with stress by hitting the gym.

If you’re skeptical about a workout’s ability to relieve stress, here are 5 facts to convince you to get to the gym to burn off the stress:

1. Exercise helps stabilize cortisol levels, a hormone triggered by stress that is linked to many chronic illnesses. During exercise cortisol levels will temporarily rise but then return back to normal levels post workout. This makes exercise a great tool for controlling and resetting stress levels.

2. Exercise is a form of active rhythmical meditation that clears your mind so you can forget the stresses of the day and live in the present moment.

3. Exercise has been proven to combat the mental symptoms of stress. Exercise improves the brain’s ability to function, reduces fatigue and improves your ability to focus.

4. Stress literally breaks down the brain but exercise releases natural hormones like norepinephrine that help repair and improve the brain.

5. We’ve all heard that exercise releases endorphins that make us feel good, but endorphins do more than create a natural high. They help reduce physical aches that stress brings on while also improving your sleep quality.

So next time you’re feeling a little frantic, hit the gym to lighten your mood!