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Exercise and stress are inextricably linked, and their effects on one another are easily determined. Individuals are even urged to stay physically active on a regular basis because it is excellent for both their mind and health. Maintaining mental fitness necessitates maintaining physical exercise, which has an effect on stress levels, allowing them to be kept low or dealt with successfully. Regular exercise enhances a person's overall cognitive functions, concentration, and considerably reduces weariness. When lack of attention is caused by stress or general mental exhaustion, this is generally considered as extremely effective. Stress has a significant impact on the brain and can be felt throughout the body. Physical exercises help the brain to relax and also bring about the ability of someone to sleep.
A research was conducted on college students to establish the relationship between stress and exercise. 437 students were used as the sample at a Midwest university (public) in a survey conducted to determine the relationship. “Human bodies respond to brief stress and return to a normal state once the stress becomes absent. However, in today's modern society which includes balancing work, home, school, and technology, people may constantly be overwhelmed with stress and rarely get opportunities to return to normal physical states” (Weismantel, Brickner, & Rosle, 2016). It was established that a bigger percentage of the students exercised regularly to cope with the pressures of classwork and college life in general.
Exercising and physical activities, in general, have been found to have a positive impact on stress and matters such as anxiety. The authors of the article articulate that consistent physical activity on the body has many positive effects on the mental stature of an individual. It lowers the chances of one acquiring some diseases, many regarded as chronic. Self-esteem is also greatly improved, and memories related to aging are less experienced by physically active individuals. Grown-ups who engage in physical activities also experience few or no anxiety and depressive moments (Anderson & Shivakuma, 2013).
A research was conducted in university students to analyze the effects that physical exercise has on stress and the general life of a university student. The research conducted on nine students established that physical activities add to better living by inducing “positive emotion” among the students. Students who exercise can concentrate on their studies and focus on their academic lives more than those who are physically inactive. They are also able to face tough situations when having clear minds than when they are experiencing stressful moments (Kim & McKenzie, 2014).
Good health is a package in which physical activity is a component. An individual who is physically active has a higher probability of having better cardiovascular health and great body mass index. Despite the fact that a majority of Americans who participated in a street survey saying that exercising is good for their health, many of them hardly find time to participate in a physical activity. A good percentage, 33% of the adult population record that they feel less stressful after exercising (American Psychological Association, 2017).
Effects of exercising on people vary, with those who do not exercise recording difficulties in managing emotions and dealing with problems. Research conducted on athletic and non-athletic students proved that problem solving was much easier to athletic students than their non-athletic counterparts (Azizi, 2011).
The relationship between physical exercises and stress management cannot be ignored. This has been articulated to be important, with the benefits being endless. It is therefore important to study the two and how they relate to one another because the general physical health of individuals is desirable. Exercising influences the brain to release chemicals that act as painkillers and therefore relieving itself from painful experiences such as stress. An individual is also able to relax, and this results in better emotion management, such as stress (Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 2014).
Overall, knowledge about this relationship affects an individual’s way of thinking and perception of exercises, and increases methods of stress management and relaxing. Personally, I see myself starting to exercise regularly, and not stopping even during my future career days because it will help manage the difficult life decisions, choices, and experiences that people experience later in life.
Kim, J.-H., & McKenzie, L. (2014). The Impacts of Physical Exercise on Stress Coping and Well-Being in University Students in the Context of Leisure. Scientific Research Publishing Inc.
American Psychological Association. (2017). Stress and Exercise. Retrieved from American Psychological Association: http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2013/exercise.aspx
Anderson, E., & Shivakuma, G. (2013, APRIL 23). Effects of Exercise and Physical Activity on Anxiety. Retrieved from National Center for Biotechnology Information: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3632802/
Anxiety and Depression Association of America. (2014, July). Exercise for Stress and Anxiety. Retrieved from Anxiety and Depression Association of America: https://adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/managing-anxiety/exercise-stress-and-anxiety
Azizi, M. (2011). Effects of doing physical exercises on stress-coping strategies and the intensity of the stress experienced by university students in Zabol, Southeastern Iran. Elsevier Ltd.
Weismantel, K., Brickner, M., & Rosle, L. (2016). Stress and Exercise in Undergraduate Health Professions Students. Retrieved from htp://ideaexchange.uakron.edu/honors_research_projects/234
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