The first Wednesday in November marks Stress Awareness Day, an opportunity for us all to reflect on the pressures of modern life and how to manage them.
There is no ‘right’ way to do this, and we each have our own ways of releasing stress. Listening to music, watching films and meeting friends are all helpful ways of finding moments of calm in an unquiet world.
This Stress Awareness Day, we are focusing on using exercise to relieve and manage stress. The science here is pretty straightforward. Exercise reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, which drive our anxiety and worry. Even better, it stimulates the production of endorphins: these elevate our mood and create the much talked about ‘runner’s high’. Taken together, such chemical changes in the body are relaxing and invigorating.
Research has found that the benefits of exercise on stress are remarkable. One survey found that people who exercise every day reduce their risk of stress and anxiety by 40%. Even more impressively, just five minutes of yoga can begin to produce anti-anxiety effects. It doesn’t take much time or effort to feel tangible results to our wellbeing. UK's National Health System (the NHS) recommends that twenty minutes of exercise that elevates the heart-rate and warms the body is enough for a productive session.
The most obvious way to begin is to lace up your trainers and hit the park for a brisk jog. If you’re looking for eco-friendly, high-performance athletic clothing for your run, OHMME has a range to suit your needs. While the weather may look uninviting, winter’s cooler temperatures make it far easier for a new jogger to begin running, away from the sun and heat of summer.
For a longer, indoor exercise session, why not consider a yoga session? As well as providing all the benefits of exercise, yoga’s focus on the mind provides another tool to combat stress. By building up mindfulness – an awareness of ourselves and the world around us – yoga can help tackle an over-busy mind and create a sense of calm. If you’ve signed up to your first yoga class, take a look at our selection of yoga clothing especially designed to tackle the heat and sweat of a yoga session while keeping your body fully supported.
Everyone has their own challenges, and everyone’s stress is different. What we do know is that exercise can help build up the body’s resistance to stress, and help tackle the challenges that provoke it. Men’s physical exercise cannot be overestimated as a means of countering stressful feelings and replacing them with a strong sense of wellbeing.