We hear the phrase “quality of life” more often than before. That is because this has become the determining factors with which we evaluate how healthy we are living. It is no longer a question of who is the slimmest, or fastest, but instead, who lives with the most sustainable lifestyle that supports longevity. The question is now “how can I increase my effectiveness at work while maintaining my good health, in the long term?” It is no question that nowadays any short-term fixes are long gone. We now approach our daily life with questions such as:
How can I increase my longevity while working and constructing a better life for myself, all the while maintaining low stress levels?
Multiple physiological changes take place when exercise and stress management are incorporated properly into our daily life. This means that a smooth transition is made to add exercise into our daily regime but also managing possible negative outcomes of external stress sources. Now in our past blog post about stress management we discussed multiple methods, derived from stoicism, that deal with stress management. As for exercise and its effects on the body we can say that if it’s properly incorporated and effort is made to develop one’s athletic capability (i.e. a smooth transition is made) stress levels can be further decreased.
Why exercise helps with stress management:
- Releases “feel-good” hormones such as endorphins
- Decreases the level of cortisol (also known as the stress hormone)
- Stabilizes one’s body composition, less work for internal bodily functions
- Increases muscle mass, more beneficial than fat in the future
- Increases cardiorespiratory capacity and makes daily tasks easier to perform
- Boosts one’s self-confidence
Overall, exercise has been seen to produce tremendous improvements with attitude, mood, confidence, and even productivity.
It is recommended that individuals start off with 10 minutes per day of light exercise such as walking and gradually increase the level of activity to 20-30 minutes per day. Following that is the increase in intensity of the exercise such that one might start running or lifting weights.
The physiological changes that take place allow for the body to release more “positive” hormones such as endorphins which puts the individual in a better mood. Therefore, better productivity and a clearer state of mind is attained. This increases momentum which in turn creates a domino effect and enables the individual to become less stressed and increases the quality of life.