WITH OUR demanding work schedules, health issues, family obligations, worrying about the kids and paying the bills, it's impossible to avoid stress. But how well is your body coping with that stress?
Scientists from The University of Basel in Switzerland and Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Sweden analysed the fitness levels, cardiovascular risk factors (including blood pressure, BMI and cholesterol) and self-reported stress levels of nearly 200 working people to identify possible links between fitness, health, and stress.
The study, published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, found that those who were stressed out were more likely to have high blood pressure and high cholesterol. No surprise there. However, the cardiovascular risk factors were lower in stressed workers who were physically fit.
“Above all, these findings are significant because it is precisely when people are stressed that they tend to engage in physical activity less often,” study co-author Markus Gerber of University of Basel said in a statement.
The physical benefits of exercise — improving physical condition and fighting disease — have long been established, and physicians always encourage staying physically active.
When stress affects the brain, with its many nerve connections, the rest of the body feels that impact. Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilise mood, improve sleep (which in turn reduces stress) and improve self-esteem. As little as five minutes of aerobic exercise can begin to stimulate anti-anxiety effects.
Ok, who's up for a workout...?
Amanda is a registered personal trainer and certified boxing instructor who specialises in fitness for women. Her goal is to inspire women of all ages to enjoy living an active, healthy life!
As a Mum of an active boy and baby girl and owner of Perth-based personal training company She’s a Knockout, Amanda is dedicated to empowering women to be fit, strong and confident in themselves.