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8 Surefire Ways Exercise Can Beat Summer Stress

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Exercise helps stress

Summer isn’t all Pina Coladas, vacations and taking strolls along the beach. Let’s face it, sometimes summertime is stressful because the kids are home, the laundry pile is bigger and despite all your best efforts, you still hear that dreaded sentence from your kids: “I’m bored.” We love summer because the kids are home, but summer also can be stressful because the kids are home.

If you want to beat summertime stress, I’ve got your exercise cure.

1. Exercise Alleviates Anxiety
Exercise relieves stress
People feel less nervous and fretful after they exercise. Stress causes you to breathe more shallowly, depriving your body of oxygen when you need it most. A brisk walk, for example, almost forces you to breathe more deeply, alleviating some of your tension. Just one workout will elevate your mood and leave you with a feeling of well-being that lasts up to two hours after your workout ends. Tap into your relaxation response with scheduled exercise. 

2. Exercise can Lighten Depression
Exercise helps depression
Chronic stress can wear you down and leave you feeling hopeless. Many doctors now prescribe exercise instead of antidepressants. Have you ever felt depressed after a good sweat? Exercise endorphins mean a happier you.

3. Exercise Helps you Sleep Like a Baby
exercise improves sleep
If your worries are keeping you awake, you’ll be even less prepared to deal with them in the morning. Numerous studies have shown that regular exercisers enjoy better quality of sleep.

4. Exercise Can Boost Energy
Exercise boosts energy
Stress depletes your reserves and resources but exercise will always restore you. Try swapping out a 30 minute nap for an exercise session and see how it gives you the same kind of energy boost. Use exercise to get more accomplished and feel more alert while you are doing it.

5. Exercise Enhances Self-Esteem
exercise helps self-esteem
Sometimes our schedules and the unexpected can make our days feel like we are walking in circles. When you do a workout, you know it. You get an instant sense of accomplishment. Silence your inner critic by getting a workout done. It’s a tangible way to do something good for you and it feels rewarding. Write down all of your workouts and you can feel super empowered just glancing down at your exercise log. 

6. Exercise Helps Flush By-products of Stress Out of Your System
exercise flushes toxins
Stressful episodes cause hormones like adrenaline to be released into your bloodstream. Vigorous activity helps your body to wipe the slate clean.

7. Exercise Inspires Healthy Eating
exercise inspires healthy eating
Once you start feeling strong and fit like an athlete, you’ll start eating like one. You see food as fuel for your engine. You’ll be more aware of how your body feels when you take your troubles out on a pizza. The better nourished you are, the better able you are to cope with stress.

8. Exercise Reminds you to Take Care of Yourself
exercise helps you care for yourself
Before you can give anything to anyone, you’ve got to be kind and generous to yourself first. And on these long summer days full of kids and commotion, it becomes especially important not to deprive yourself of your 30 minutes of me time!

If the hazy days of summer become a little too long due to stress, you can always count on the physical and mental uplift of getting your heart pumping and your muscles moving. Exercise is a truly effective way to reduce summertime stress.

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EmpowHER Guest

I completely agree! When I exercise daily, I feel great! As I read down the list my smile grew bigger as each one is so spot on! When you feel better and look better, there's no other feeling like it. (Maybe sex....maybe!)

July 31, 2014 - 4:07pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.