We all know stress is a killer and will wreak havoc on your body. Many of us have turned to exercise as a stress reliever for our crazy days. Well if you are one of those people, good on you!! Exercise is an amazing thing for your body and the more reasons you have to do it the better! But if you think that doing a hard, super intense, mentally demanding workout is going to reduce your stress, your wrong! Your body doesn't understand the difference between all the different stresses in your life. It doesn't know financial stress over work stress over kid stress over relationship stress, etc. It just knows that bad things are happening and you need to "FIGHT for your life or FLIGHT and get the hell out of there". When your body is in this mode, all other functions of the body become a lower priority. This response is a primal protective response and was needed back when we were surviving in the wild. But today we have manufactured our own stresses. It's a badge of honor to see how much stress we can take. Our bodies are constantly in a state of stress. And this is BAD for us. So we need to find ways to relieve the stress. With workouts, you can take a mental break from stress since you are thinking about the workout and not your other issues. This is a momentary bandaid. But the physical stress you do when you get in there and try to crush the work, well the body sees this as more stress. Yes, its exercise but its a stress on your body. The heavy weight, the labored breathing, the burning of the muscles, your heart pounding through your chest. This is stress. And it's adding to the already full cup of stress you are dealing with. So how do we use exercise as a true stress reliever? Put the clock away. Don't worry about PR's or what others are doing in the workout. Don't plan on winning the workout. Put the blinders on. Your plan is to move. The outcome is NOT important. You want to give your brain a little rest, maybe drop some weights and you feel the release of the dopamine in your brain. But this isn't about training. It's about health and recovery. It's about relaxation and enjoyment. If you can bring it down a BUNCH and just move, then the exercise becomes a good thing. Don't fall into the trap of trying to CRUSH the stress out of you with a hard workout. All that will do is CRUSH you more. Just BREATH and MOVE. It's what the doctor ordered:)
FEEL THE BURN!!!
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