Exercise and Stress Relief

This high level can cause a decrease in the performance of our immune system, a loss of muscle mass (because the muscle is then used as fuel energy) and a great fatigue

Physical activity stimulates the production of endorphins, hormones involved in well-being that counteract the effects of adrenaline, the stress hormone. Endorphin has a structure close to that of morphine, helping to reduce stress.

Sport also increases the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that mediates the mechanisms of reward. Thus, after a physical activity session, athletes describe a state of fullness, even euphoria. Close to opium, dopamine also helps to reduce fatigue.

Sports also improve the quality of your sleep, you recover more easily which will provoke a revival of energy.

Sport is an anti-stress activity par excellence recommended to all to reduce tensions. Some physical activities, such as yoga or Tai chi, for example, are excellent to achieve serenity and relieve stress. But it’s up to you to determine which sport will bring you the maximum benefit.

How to explain the anti-stress effect of exercise? Exercise acts on certain receptors in our brain.

When our body is under great pressure, it continuously produces a large amount of hormones, especially cortisol. Cortisol is a painkiller and provides energy that participates in the regulation of sleep. Constantly produced, cortisol can make our body imperturbable and this overproduction can eventually become normal for our cells that will lose their sensitivity. This then causes a form of chronic stress that it is exhausting our body.

So it is certainly the best and the healthiest way to get out of stress and its consequences. It is obviously not easy to take the first step, to get up a little earlier or to return a little later, knowing that we are just still tired and under the influence of stress.

Sport and especially competition can act as a “stress regulator”. Indeed, to obtain good results, you need a minimum of motivation. On the starting line, the slightly anxious brain starts up and wakes up, the muscles and the heart get ready and benefit from the few hormonal stimulations. Without any stress, the body fails to get into action and the performance will be poor. If the pressure is excessive, the brain activity becomes disordered and the energy is squandered before the choke launches competitors.

Beyond the chemical functioning of our organism, sport contains “anti-stress psychological virtues” that are not negligible. Many technical sports require concentration. This forces you to “change your ideas”.

Often, physical practice is part of a project. Doing the best to complete it helps to disconnect from his daily worries. Finally, going to train is often an opportunity to “see the world”. If sport is the guiding thread of these relationships, it can help build strong friendships. Dialogues, confidences and emotional bonds then help to express and then evacuate tensions.

“Introverts” are those who cash without retaliating. They ruminate and fail to expel tensions. Often, their body modestly expresses their impregnation into stress hormones and their discomfort. They frequently complain of headaches, abdominal pain, sore throats or vertebral pain. “Introverts” then benefit fully from sports activities, particularly physical exits. Collective and technical sports require communication and focus, Football or rugby could be advised.

“Extroverts” are those who explode at the slightest constraint and cannot control themselves. Their brains too easily express stress! They are exhausted. They make their co-workers and family members suffer. “Extroverts” greatly benefit from a channelling, soothing and regulating sporting activity. Of course, energy expenditure helps to calm this type of personality, even solitary endurance efforts can be proposed. So think about golf or yoga.


Progressive Muscular Relaxation

Progressive muscular relaxation, or PMR, is useful for relaxing your body when your muscles are tense.

The idea behind PMR is that you tense up a group of muscles, so that they’re tightly contracted. Hold them in a state of extreme tension for a few seconds, and then relax the muscles normally. Then, consciously relax your muscles even more. This process of moving from intense tension to deep muscular relaxation helps interrupt your body’s fight-or-flight response when you’re experiencing fear or stress.

Here are a few examples of ways to engage in progressive muscular relaxation. Hold each position for five seconds, and then relax. You might also find it helpful to breathe out slowly as you relax each pose, or even to whisper the word “relax” as you release your muscles.