Can exercise help relieve stress and depression?

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Can exercise help relieve stress and depression?

We know that stress is one of the main and most popular risk factors for our health nowadays, because nobody escapes it badly. And it is also known that physical activity can reduce levels in the body, however, to reduce stress, do all sports help? .

How sport and activity help reduce stress

To analyze if all sports help to reduce stress, it is convenient to know the mechanisms that associate lower levels of stress and physical activity. That is, we must know how sports help to release tensions and concerns of our body.

To explain the mechanisms of action of physical activity and sports on stress we must know a double way, one of psychological origin and another of physiological origin.

  • Psychological action: on our head, the practice of physical or sports activities, produce a distraction from stressful events by concentrating on other types of issues associated with sports, which undoubtedly helps reduce the level of stress in the body. That is to say, they clear our head of worries.
  • Physiological action: the practice of physical and sports activities leads to a greater release of endorphins by the brain, pituitary and other tissues, which translates into a state of euphoria and greater sense of well-being as well as a decrease in the sensation of pain.

As we can see, physical activity and sports act both psychologically and physiologically to reduce stress in our body and increase the sense of well-being.

Do all sports help?

Apparently, sports or activities that help reduce stress and improve the psychological and mental well-being of people are those that meet the following characteristics:

  • Regularity , because in the long term the regular practice of exercise or sports activities reduces the risk of depression and improves mental well-being.
  • Dosage , since the greater number of sessions of minor exercises are the levels of stress and depression.
  • Continuity , since long-term exercise reduces anxiety and neuroticism, key to better cope with stress.

That is, for an activity to favor the reduction of stress should not be sporadic or occasional practice, but should be practiced regularly, sustained over time and not in small amounts.

In addition, there is also some evidence that sports or outdoor activities and groups generate greater benefits at a psychological level than those performed in solitude and in closed spaces.

However, the main thing is that the activity, sport or training that we perform is pleasant and does not add more stress to our body.

So, while most sports help to reduce stress, not all are useful for this purpose, since competitive sports, practiced at professional level, usually add emotional, mental and physical stress to our body, not collaborating to a large extent like other activities to reduce stressors.

Given the pressure that competitive sport causes, it does not help reduce stress as another type of pleasant, regular, and distracting activities.

Training hard in the gym can add physical stress, but greatly reduce mental stress by allowing us to increase the level of endorphins in our body and distract the head from daily stresses and worries.

You know, if you want to reduce stress , look for pleasant activities that you can perform regularly and in a sustained manner over time. Do not choose demanding activities or that add pressure and stress to your head.

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