Why is physical activity a stress management issue?
Exercise can possibly help the brain cope better with stress. Researchers aren’t sure why, but there are quite a few ideas:
- Some studies show it might be that exercise increases norepinephrine concentration in the brain, which helps you deal with a stress response.
- Some researchers think that the benefit may also come from the intense focus and repetitive motion that is part of most physical activity (which could trigger a relaxation response).
- Some believe that exercise helps the biological functions in the body and mind work better together, and that this helps us respond better to stress.
- Some believe that exercise helps the immune system function better, so we are better protected from diseases associated with stress.
Why does “why” really matter?
We do know that there is a relationship between exercise and mood. Walking, biking, tai chi, yoga, are just some examples of physical activities you can try to help you manage your stress.