Move More to Stress Less

Move More to Stress Less
Natalie Stein

Exercise, Fitness & Nutrition Expert | Lark Health

A “Stress Less Toolbox” is not complete without physical activity. Physical activity is an excellent stress management technique that also helps combat negative effects of stress. Here is why moving more to stress less should and can be part of your regular schedule.

How Exercise Lowers Stress

Physical activity can help lower the amount of stress that you feel as it improves mood, helps you think more clearly, energizes you, and relaxes you.

Along with reducing the amount of stress you may feel, exercise can reduce the effects of stress. Many of the effects of exercise are opposite to those of stress.

Effects of Stress Effects of Exercise
Increased chronic inflammation (a risk factor for many chronic conditions)
Reduced chronic inflammation
Increased blood pressure and blood sugar
Reduced blood pressure and blood sugar
Increased anxiety
Reduced anxiety
Irritability and frustration
Better mood
Trouble sleeping
Falling asleep faster and having better sleep quality
Decreased ability to concentrate
Increased ability to concentrate

Great Exercises for Stress Management

Any type of physical activity in any amount can help lower stress. If you are striving for the common goal of hitting at least 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous intensity activity to maintain health or manage chronic conditions, that can be a good goal. Lark can help you set a goal for physical activity and track your progress.

Exercises that involve muscle meditation can help to free your mind and let it wander, which can help with stress management. Muscle meditation happens when your muscles are making repetitive movements. Examples of exercises include walking, jogging, bicycling, and doing the elliptical trainer. If none of those appeal to you, be assured that anything you love to do is a great choice. 

Squeezing More Movement into Your Day

Smaller bouts of exercise are helpful if you do not have time to do a 30 or 60-minute exercise session most days. They are also helpful even if you are already doing a longer daily workout! Actions such as climbing stairs during a break, walking around the building or parking lot a few times throughout the day, and doing arm swings or squats during phone calls can help with health and stress reduction.

Lark’s Stress Less program offers coaching on all kinds of stress management techniques, including getting enough physical activity to make a difference. Whatever level you are at, Lark is ready to meet you where you are and to help you achieve your goals.