Most of us will experience mild stress in our lives, but did you know that regular exercise can help reduce the impact of stress and increase your life expectancy according to some studies?
While we’re aware that stress can negatively impact energy levels, concentration and motivation – it’s easy to boost your mood by releasing endorphins in one of many ways that suits your lifestyle.
A simple 30 minute work-out can have an immediate and positive effect on your mindset, as stress management strategies are so important at all ages and stages of life.
Recent Nature’s Own research has found that 41 per cent of those over 50 feel much less stressed now, than they were 20 years ago – which says a lot about the benefits of making the time to exercise.
Try these tips next time you feel stressed, or to manage stress on a daily basis:
- Going for a brisk walk or bike ride can be an effective way to improve your mood. This small activity stimulates the production of endorphins which in turn make us feel good! Try regular activity daily for at least 30 minutes a day.
- Take up yoga, pilates or attend a stretching class. These fitness regimes can be effective for improving mood given that they focus on reducing muscular tension, and increasing the metabolism of excess adrenaline in the blood stream typically produced by stress.
- Practicing mindfulness is an excellent way to reduce stress and anxiety by increasing concentration and alertness. Try a simple meditation that requires you to focus solely on your breathing in order to take your mind off external stresses.
- Ensure healthy sleep practices such as regular bedtimes and avoiding caffeine late in the day, trading a coffee for a relaxing chamomile tea. You may consider a bath and listening to relaxing music before bed.
- As well as incorporating regular exercise into your lifestyle, try eating potassium-rich foods such as avocados and bananas, which both help to maintain healthy blood pressure levels. Bananas, along with cheese are also rich in tryptophan, an amino acid converted by the body into serotonin – a feel-good brain chemical which can help to relieve stress.
Authored by Nature’s Own Exercise Physiologist and Dietitian, Kate Save