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The Top 5 Ways That Exercise Reduces Stress

Submitted by on June 5, 2012 – 10:35 pmNo Comment

Author: Greg Geary

Exercise reduces stress. It’s a commonly known fact, but how does it reduce stress? And armed with this knowledge, why are so many Americans still couch potatoes?

All Exercise Counts
Like walking? Rhythmic motion has been found to be soothing. More into tai chi or yoga? Exercise that requires focus on breathing reduces stress as well. Just want to lift weights? There’s no added benefits to weight lifting, but you’ll reap the many benefits listed below.

Focusing on the Present
Almost all exercise is a form of “moving meditation.” Focusing solely on what you are doing right now is very soothing.

Hormone Control
Exercise reduces stress by releasing endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine to the brain. These are all hormones that make you feel good. In fact, a Duke University study showed that exercise is actually equal to regular doses of Zoloft. In addition, exercise reduces cortisol levels, a hormone secreted when stressed.

Better Sleep
People who exercise regularly experience better sleep. Better sleep promotes a calmer demeanor.

Tense muscles
One of the best ways to release tension in a muscle is actually to tense it as much as you are able and then relax it. Sounds kinda like exercise, doesn’t it?

A Word of Caution
While working out regularly for all the benefits it provides, including stress relief, is a great idea, using it as the only means of relieving stress is not good. If the only way you can cope with stress is by working out, you may be overexercising. This may lead to headaches, muscle injuries, loss of appetite, and disturbed sleep patterns. Please don’t worry about overexercise until you have the under-exercise problem handled.

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Would you like to reap the benefits of continual stress-destroying exercise? Check out ways that exercise reduces stress at

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