Just 10 Minutes of Exercise Can Be a Stress Buster

By Melanie Sanderson, BSc. Kinesiology, Tri Fit Inc.

It’s chaos at the office; you feel butterflies in your stomach and your heart is pounding in your chest. Last time you checked, an overdue report didn’t put you in physical danger! So how can your workday get you feeling so keyed up?

When your body reacts to a stressful situation, the “fight or flight response” kicks in. This physiological response, dating back to prehistoric times, is designed to prepare the body for dealing with physical danger – fight the tiger or run.

This response is critical if we are facing a life-threatening situation, but most modern day stressors, like a tough day at the office, don’t call for a physical response. This causes our stress hormones to build up in our bodies, which can be damaging—so much so, that the American Institute of Stress quotes that 75% to 90% of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related complaints. The good news is that exercise of light to moderate intensity for as little as 10 minutes at a time can help break down the effects of stress and restore our bodies to normal functioning.

A little activity can go a long way when it comes to managing stress. Physical activity, such as taking a short walk, will calm your body and mind and stimulate the thought process. Just 10 minutes of aerobic exercise has been proven to significantly increase creativity and our ability to process information. Aerobic exercise of 20 minutes or more activates the release of endorphins, which improves mood and positive outlook.

Look for ways to fit in physical activity at home and get the whole family involved. Replace one TV show a night with a walk around the block, go for a bike ride with your kids or play soccer in the park. You can also sneak some extra exercise into your day by taking the stairs whenever possible or by walking while you talk the next time you meet with a friend or colleague.

Physical activity can be the best medicine. It is guaranteed to lift your spirits, improve your focus and problem-solving skills and enhance overall health and well-being. With all of these great benefits, exercise might just give you the extra edge. Take ten and elevate your work and personal life to a new level.

trifit logoTri Fit Inc., Consultants in Workplace Fitness and Wellness
Better health, positive energy, strong performance. Corporate clients have seen the bottom line benefits that can be achieved through Tri Fit’s innovative fitness and wellness services. In business since 1978, Tri Fit’s mission is to enhance the personal and organizational health of our clients through wellness programs that are integrated into the culture of the organization. Tri Fit customizes each program by analyzing client resources, employee and organizational needs and interests and the workplace environment. Our approach has resulted in improved employee and organizational health, energy and performance. Services include: Wellness program design and management; Fitness facility design and management; Strategic planning including needs and interest surveys; Tri Fit @ Home™ web-based program. Learn more at http://www.trifit.com/main.asp or call 905-845-0006.

By Adam

June 10, 2010