Exercise – a key ingredient in managing stress?
I have a strong personal and professional interest in the many benefits of exercise. I ‘sell’ exercise for a living but on a personal level I’ve been on a 15 year journey transitioning from ‘professional’ athlete (where maximising exercise performance was my sole focus) to my current situation where like many people I am attempting to balance multiple competing priorities and keep all the balls in the air!
In recent years with the demands of operating a business, having a young growing family and contributing to my communities, my reasons for exercising have expanded from just looking after my physical health. My exercise time on the bike, in the gym or in a yoga studio plays a key role in helping me to manage my mental health – it’s a time where I’m away from the demands of email, phone and other people, provides me with an alternate focus to the thoughts which occupy my mind for much of my day and essentially allows my mind to ‘go slow’ and focus on the internal workings of my body. The result of all of this is that I find exercise a great outlet for releasing stress and find that I return from an exercise session with a clear head and ready to tackle whatever tasks are on my list for the day ahead.
Without trying to sounds like another ‘wellness’ guru, my thesis is that exercise improves my ‘capacity’ for work, family and life in general.
KL’s points for action –
- Read this article which talks about the mechanism by which exercise actually works to help us manage stress http://t.co/g1VJozPuX2
- Review your weekly exercise routine and consider when you exercise in relation to managing your own stress levels and building your capacity for ‘life performance’ – there are different reasons why you may exercise at the start, middle or end of your day.