Some days, life can feel like it is just too much. Between the pressures of work, parenting, relationships, and whatever else you face in an average day, you may find yourself wound tighter than a two dollar watch! And how do you even begin to unwind from all of this stress? It's easier than you think!
Exercise is your answer! Sure, the idea of busting out a workout when you're super stressed may not seem that appealing but once you give it a try and see the results, we're willing to bet it will become your relaxation go to!
You've heard about the "runner's high," right? Well, it is a very real phenomena and it isn't just limited to runners. This buzz, which you can get from any aerobic activity, has a neurological foundation.
When we are stressed, our bodies produce the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline in large quantities. These hormones played a huge role in our evolutionary past, helping us to respond in life threatening situations. They are the heart of our fight or flight response. Trouble is, these hormones are activated by our daily stressors, the majority of which are not life threatening, putting us in a constant fight or flight state. This high level of stress can do some serious damage in your body and your life. It can strain your intimate relationships, increase your risk for certain types of diseases, promote weight gain, and even make you look older!
Exercise, can help fight all these negative side effects! All types of exercise, from heavy cardio to yoga, lower stress hormones in the body while releasing endorphins into the blood stream. Endorphins are your body's natural pain killers and function as mood boosters. Exercise also helps your body produce the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin plays a role in mood elevation, appetite control, and even helps regulate your sleep cycle. In fact, low levels of serotonin have been linked to depression!
Not fully convinced? A recent study has suggested that there may be even more behind this high than endorphins and serotonin! In a study performed with mice, German researchers found that the endocannabinoid system may also play a role in your post-workout buzz. This is the same system that is affected by tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. The mice, who were trained to run on an exercise wheel for 5 hours at a time, were less anxious and had a higher pain tolerance than those who remained sedentary. While there is more research that needs to be done, this is all good news!
Now it's time for you to give it a try for yourself! Create your own personal oasis and join Lisa and Sean on a sunny beach in Los Angeles. No need for planes, trains, or automobiles, you can get there from the comfort of your own living room! The 21 day, BodyRock Boot Camp Challenge, will help you build strength and endurance while reaping the de-stressing, happiness-inducing benefits of exercise! Take a closer look!
Have you noticed the mellowing aspects of regular exercise? Leave us a comment and share your story! We love hearing from you!