Last month, we sent a poll to our clients asking them how they manage stress. The options were the typical stress management techniques you’d guess–sleep, prioritize, make lists, exercise, and meditate. The results were overwhelmingly similar, in that nearly 63% of Mazuma clients rely on exercise to reduce their stress. Since nearly all of our clients are small business owners, it’s no surprise that they have their fair share of pressure in the work place.
Here are 10 statistics to further reinforce that notion to get your body moving when you’re feeling stressed out:
- It doesn’t take much. Psychologists studying depression and anxiety have found a brisk ten minute walk to be as effective as a 45 minute workout in reducing stress.
- Science has also provided some evidence that physically active people have lower rates of anxiety and depression than sedentary people. Less anxiety = less stress.
- Exercise is meditation in motion. Five to 10 minutes into their exercise routine, most people find that they are able to stop thinking about workplace stress and focus more on their body movements. This focus helps them remain calm and concentrated in all aspects of life.
- Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem.
- It improves your mood. Regular exercise increases self-esteem, relaxes you, boosts your confidence, and lowers the symptoms associated with stress, depression, and anxiety.
- Exercise helps you sleep. If your work day wears you out mentally, a little physical exercise can help you wind down and sleep better and longer at night. Better rest = less stress.
- Raising one’s heart rate can actually reverse damage to the brain caused by stressful events. Dr. Matthew Stults-Kolehmainen said “Stress atrophies the brain — especially the hippocampus, which is responsible for a lot, but memory in particular. When you’re stressed, you forget things.”
- Exercise helps you control your weight and your appetite, a number one cause of stress among many Americans. Those who exercise tend to weigh less and eat healthier, giving them one less thing to worry about. Eventually, healthy choices become natural as a result of good daily exercise habits.
- Exercise helps you become organized. Prioritizing and planning exercise into your week soon filters over into other aspects of your life. When you’ve got a clear schedule you know you’re working with, such as 30 minutes of exercise, 20 minutes of reading, and 20 minutes on social media, your overall stress levels are reduced.
- It boosts your confidence. People who exercise worry less about what others think of them and more about their own personal development. Setting goals to compete with yourself instead of others increases self-esteem and overall healthy living.
Essentially, when your body feels better, so does your mind. If you’re feeling especially stressed lately, try working exercise into your schedule and allow it to boost your energy and rid yourself of daily stressors.