National Fitness Day is the most active day of the year, designed to inspire the nation to move!
How are you going to ensure your day is full of physical activity?
The Stress Management Society team have organised a lunchtime jog around the beautiful lakes and canals that surround our offices!
So, what are the benefits of being active and how can it help you combat stress?
When we exercise, hormones are released. Stress hormones such as cortisol are decreased and ‘feel good’ chemicals such as serotonin and endorphins (the body’s natural pain killers) are released, therefore helping to naturally enhance your mood and reduce stress.
Keeping fit and exercising has tremendous health benefits – the risk of experiencing major illnesses such as stroke, cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes can be decreased by up to 50%. Also, your risk of an early death can drop by 30%!
Exercise can also play a big role in your mental and physical state. Not only does exercise take your mind away from your daily worries, increased physical activity can be linked to lower physiological reactivity towards stress, building your resilience!
Being active during the day can also help you achieve a better night’s sleep, making sure you are well rested and ready for the following day. Getting a good night sleep has been proven to help reduce the effects of stress.
Here are some great ways to keep active in and out of work:
- Walk more
A few members of our team like to park their car in the overflow car park which is a short walk away from our office to enjoy a nice walk before and after work. Research has shown that walking can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke and can also help you tone! Walking can also be a great moving meditation.
- Stand up at work
Here in the office we all have a VariDesk. They are sit-stand desks that can be adjusted to allow us to stand as well as sit during the workday. Research has shown that sitting for too long has negative health effects, such as weight gain and type 2 diabetes. Click here for more information
- Go to the gym
‘Regular aerobic exercise can bring remarkable changes not just to your body, your metabolism, and your heart, but also to your spirits’, reports the February 2011 issue of Harvard Men’s Health Watch. Aerobic exercise has a unique capacity to exhilarate and relax, to provide stimulation and calm, to counter depression and dissipate stress.
Working with weights — anaerobic exercise — stresses and tears muscles, which increases endorphins production based on the intensity and duration of exercise. You can maximize the stress reduction from endorphins with a multi-joint weight-lifting workout and rest periods between sets. Resistance exercise using weight puts a heavy strain on the muscles, and can produce more endorphins in a faster period of time than cardio exercise.
- Get a pet
A pet, such as a dog can help you to keep active and enjoy the outdoors! Research has shown that dog owners are more likely to reach their daily exercise recommendation. We are lucky to have our office dog – the big, white fluffy Nanook.
So make sure to utilise these tips, to ensure an active, healthy, happy lifestyle!
Have a wonderful day!
Marketing and PR Manager
The Stress Management Society