Get a Handle on Stress with Physical Fitness
How Physical Fitness Helps You
- Boost your mood
- Boost your self-confidence
- Relieve anxiety and feelings of depression
- Improves alertness
- Gives you a better night's sleep—which will also make you feel even better
How to Get Started
- Do something fun (alone or with a buddy).
- Listen to music that gets you pumped up and makes you feel good.
- Don't give up if you miss a few days. Accept it, move on, and get back out there. It will eventually become a habit.
Sticking With It
- Keep walking or running shoes in the car or office. You may find time in the middle of the day to take a quick walk or run.
- Use the stairs. If you can avoid the elevator, do so. The extra steps always help and you will get better at them.
- Park farther away. When you have to park your car, do it farther from your destination and try to walk the distance.
- Involve your family. Start a challenge and see what happens. If you exercise together, conversation is easier.
- Walk away from stressful situations. At work or at home, stand up on a regular basis and walk around. It clears your mind and may help you solve that pesky problem.
American College of Sports Medicine http://www.acsm.org
American Council on Exercise http://www.acefitness.org
Canadian Psychological Association http://www.cpa.ca
Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology http://www.csep.ca
The exercise effect. American Psychological Association website. Available at: http://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/12/exercise.aspx. Updated December 2011. Accessed October 23, 2014.
The exercise habit. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/prevention-wellness/exercise-fitness/exercise-basics/the-exercise-habit.html. Updated April 2014. Accessed October 23, 2014.
Exercise: how to get started. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/healthy/physical/basics/015.html. Updated December 2009. Accessed November 8, 2012.
Exercise important in shrinking your stress. American College of Sports Medicine website. http://www.acsm.org/about-acsm/media-room/acsm-in-the-news/2011/08/01/exercise-important-in-shrinking-your-stress. Accessed October 23, 2014.
Mind/Body Health: Stress. American Psychological Association website. Available at: http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/stress.aspx. Updated 2013. Accessed October 23, 2014.
Stress: how to cope with life's challenges. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/prevention-wellness/emotional-wellbeing/mental-health/stress-how-to-cope-better-with-lifes-challenges.html. Updated November 2010. Accessed October 23, 2014.
Stress tip sheet. American Psychological Association website. Available at: http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2007/10/stress-tips.aspx. Published October 5, 2007. Accessed October 23, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 10/2014 -
- Update Date: 10/23/2014 -