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 that over 70% of respondents suffer from daily or weekly stress. While the most common stressors were work and finances, the most common way the survey respondents liked to de-stress was by exercising. In fact, the survey found 31% of people deal with stress by going to the gym.
To help deal with stress and establish a workout routine that improves your mood, here are some tips provided by Youfit Master YouCoach and certified personal trainer, Zachary Oliver.
As a fitness professional, this is a regular question: “How can I improve my quality of sleep?” I usually respond with a few follow-up questions like, “Is this a stressful time at work? Is self-care a priority?” Once we identify and eliminate the key stressors in our lives, we can create a recipe for feeling better and looking better.
Cortisol is the primary stress hormone that increases glucose (sugars) in the bloodstream, increases body fat, raises blood pressure, and can speed up the aging process. So, having high stress and not allowing your body to release this built up stress can, and will, create an avalanche of emotions and bad habits. Luckily, exercise has been proven to reduce stress and lower blood pressure. In order to reap the benefits of a stress-free lifestyle, better habits need to be in place. When you shift to better habits, you’ll experience less stress throughout the day and night.
My suggestion is to exercise at least 150 minutes per week (38 minutes – 4 days a week) at a moderate intensity level. Two days per week, focus on cardiovascular training, whether that’s on the treadmill or enjoying a leisurely brisk walk outdoors. For another two days, try a strength training full body workout or join a group fitness class that focuses on strength. Once you’ve established a solid routine, slowly increase the intensity and/or frequency of your exercises. Be sure to track your mood before and after your workout!
For more workout tips, health advice or questions, don’t hesitate to ask any one of our knowledgeable, certified YouCoach trainers at your local Youfit.
Have YOU tried using any of these tips? Let us know in the comments below.