It’s December the 7th, and we’re just going to come out and say it: We’re all starting to feel the familiar Christmas stress here at We Feed You HQ. It’s the shopping lists, the crazy social schedule, the school commitments and events, the entertaining and Christmas day menu decisions, the Mariah Carey onslaught, the ridiculous traffic, and underpinning it all, a slightly guilty feeling when we’re not embracing the festive spirit. Are you picking up what we’re putting down here?
In the coming weeks we’re talking simple stress busters in the lead up to the silly season, and the first one we’re talking about is exercise. Think you’re too stressed out and busy to fit in your usual exercise? You might want to keep reading:
Exercise is your friend when stressful times hit, and here’s why:
Moving your body and getting your heart rate up gets more blood circulating around your body - which helps us use up the excess blood glucose from that 4pm shortbread hit, and delivers more oxygen to our brain and other tissues. Exercise also helps lymph fluids circulate through the body, which removes toxins and other harmful materials.
- Exercise is a mood booster, because it actually reduces levels of the body's stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. At the same time, it stimulates the production of endorphins in our brain – the natural painkillers and mood elevators we all produce.
- Moving and stretching your body also helps reduce tension and soreness (like the ache in your shoulders or neck). It forces us to change our posture and use different muscle groups to those we over-work when we’re hunching over computers, steering wheels, and craning our necks looking at our phones.
- And last but not least - exercise helps you get out of your head and into your physical environment. Going for a walk, a run, a ride or a swim gets you outside where you’ll hear birds, smell flowers, see other people, and may forget for a moment the list of chores and commitments weighing you down. Getting out and moving your body helps you reconnect with the world around you, and keep things in perspective.