We all know that life can be stressful. People have so much going on with work, friends, and family that often their personal health and well being get through aside. After a long day at work, that last thing you want to do is put on your sneakers and head to the gym. It's easy to say that you are tired and need some couch and tv time. However, you might want to rethink that decision and go to the gym instead. Working out is an ideal way to relieve stress and change your mood around.
How working out helps with stress:
1. Provides you "me time". Working out gives you time out of the day where only you matter. The goal of exercise is to concentrate on you (no one else), so that you can be and do your best. Everyone needs and deserves a part of the day where only they matter.
2. Stomps out your anger. When I get angry or have a frustrating day at work, I use the gym to release those feelings. One day, I even asked a trainer to borrow some gloves and took out my frustration on the punching bag. Whether you like to imagine that you are stepping on the people you are angry at when you run or that you are building muscles to beat them up as you lift weights, exercise is a great way to get rid of those negative feelings.
3. Helps you relax. When I go to the gym, one of my main goals is to zone out. Often, when I first get to the gym my mind is racing with everything that has happened that day or everything I need to get done. When I get to the gym, I put on my music and try to forget about everything. No, exercise isn't a magic pill. I obviously still have thoughts from the day running through my mind. However, once I leave I feel as though my stress and anxiety from the day (or my to do list ahead) has lessened.
4. Gives you better confidence. Whether you are trying to lose weight, look better in your jeans, or run a fast mile, when you go to the gym you are working towards a goal. As you reach your goals your confidence increases. It has been shown that higher self confidence contributes to stress relief.
So, just because you aren't training for a 5k, marathon, or whatever else doesn't mean you aren't training for something. You are training to become a better, healthier you! So be selfish and schedule in some "me time" at the gym.