After a long day at work, hitting the gym may be the last thing on your mind. Still, it's important to move. Regular exercise burns fat, improves the cardiovascular system, increases oxygen uptake, reduces the risk of diseases, lowers your blood pressure and has all kinds of other positive effects. Reducing stress is also part of this. But how can exercise reduce stress? In this article, we'll take a closer look at this. Are you reading along?
Where does stress come from?
Every day you get to choose something for you. You are stimulated all day long, especially at work or in your studies, and that can cause stress. It is not always easy to find out whether you suffer from too much stress.
There are a number of signs that may indicate that the balance between stress and relaxation is disturbed:
- Are you tired faster than usual?
- Do you sleep worse? - Do you not wake up rested?
- Are you more irritable than usual?
- Do you find that you don't have the energy to do the things that normally come easily to you?
- Do you often suffer from negative thoughts?
- Is your motivation hard to find (at work, private life and for sports)?
If you suffer from the above points, then it is important to do something about it! Many people who exercise experience that they can clear their head with this or that it calms them down. And often that is certainly the case.
Two important substances are released during exercise: Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) on the one hand and Endorphins on the other. Both substances support the hippocampus in the brain. The hippocampus inhibits the production of the well-known stress hormone cortisol.
With a persistently high cortisol level, the hippocampus will unfortunately also function worse. The stress then increases further. A well-functioning hippocampus is therefore extremely important for stress reduction. Break this negative spiral by making the hippocampus work properly again and how do you do that? Right, by moving! Sport can really help you to find your inner peace again. We give you some examples.
Sport influences your hormone balance
Release valve for frustrations
Sleep is very important against stress