Thursday, January 08, 2009

Exercise has Calming Effect

In times of stress, one of my biggest allies is exercise. It may be in the form of running, strength training, soccer or just playing with the kids at the park. Whatever the activity, the overall impact has a calming effect that reduces stress and actually make me feel happier. How does something that can be physically draining cause enjoyment and reduce stress?

For me it's quite simple: stress is a drain and a burden while exercise produces endorphins, stimulates blood flow and opens areas of my body that stimulate harmony. Endorphins are usually known for producing excitable, even climatic effects, especially in runners (Runners High). I've found that it doesn't quite get to that point. I actually flat line in my response. The tired/stressful feelings dissipate and I feel a union of my spirit and body, almost a floating feeling.

Whatever the actual chemical mechanism that is transpiring in my body, I love it and at times crave the activity to once again reach the yielded state of bliss. As I'm writing this post I'm enjoying the calming effects of a powerful run this morning. 9 miles was my goal and I reached it with energy to spare. My fingers feel almost as though they're floating off the keyboard and I feel energized for the day. Bring on the stress ;)

How do you cope with stress and what puts you in a calming attitude?
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