Provides Stress and Anxiety Relief
(Note: Everyone with COPD
should be screened for heart disease and
complications of COPD that can be made worse with
exercise and check with their physicians before
starting an exercise program. Also, exercise does
not need to be strenuous.
To get the most benefit,
you need to exercise at least 3 to 5 times a
2002 – As the nation marks the first anniversary
of the horrific events of Sept. 11, medical experts
are finding that Americans still suffer from stress,
tension, anxiety and depression arising from the
The American Council
on Exercise reminds Americans that one of the most
effective methods of relieving stress is exercise.
particularly aerobic exercise, has consistently
shown to be effective in helping individuals manage
psychological stress,” said Cedric Bryant, Ph.D.,
FACSM, and chief exercise physiologist/vice
president of educational services for ACE.
“Research also indicates that exercise seems to
relieve mild depression and helps people maintain
their ‘cool’ during trying times.”
leading nonprofit fitness advocate, offers the
following tips to help individuals cope with the
stress and anxiety from Sept. 11:
help you feel less anxious.
Exercise is being prescribed in clinical settings to
help treat nervous tension. Following a session of
exercise, clinicians have measured a decrease in
electrical activity of tensed muscles. People have
been less jittery and hyperactive after an exercise
One exercise session generates 90 to 120 minutes of
relaxation response. Some people call this
post-exercise euphoria or endorphin response. We now
know that many neurotransmitters, not just
endorphins, are involved. The important thing though
is not what they're called, but what they do: They
improve your mood and leave you relaxed.
make you feel better about yourself.
Think about those times when you've been physically
active. Haven't you felt better about yourself? That
feeling of self-worth contributes to stress relief.
make you eat better.
People who exercise regularly tend to eat more
nutritious food. And it's no secret that good
nutrition helps your body manage stress better.
It's time to
Now that you know exercise can make a big difference
in controlling stress, make some time for regular
physical activity. To help you get started, we have
listed three activities to choose from:
- Aerobic activity.
All it takes is 20 minutes, six to seven days a
week. Twenty minutes won't carve a big chunk out
of your day, but it will improve your ability to
control stress significantly.
In yoga or yoga-type activities, your mind relaxes
progressively as your body increases its amount of
muscular work. Recent studies have shown that when
large muscle groups repeatedly contract and relax,
the brain receives a signal to release specific
neurotransmitters, which in turn make you feel
relaxed and more alert.
Play tennis, racquetball, volleyball or squash.
These games require the kind of vigorous activity
that rids your body of stress-causing adrenaline
and other hormones.
Not just any
exercise will do
Don't try exercising in your office. Outdoors
or away from the office is the best place to find a
stress-free environment. Even a corporate fitness
center can have too many work-related thoughts for
from overcrowded classes.
If you work surrounded by people, a big exercise
class may be counterproductive. Solo exercise may be
more relaxing for you. If, however, you work alone,
you may enjoy the social benefit of exercising in a
group. A lot depends on your personality and what
causes stress for you.
Don't skip a
chance to exercise.
Take a break every 90 minutes and you'll be doing
yourself a favor. Ninety-minute intervals are a
natural work-break period. And four 10-minute
exercise breaks at this time will burn about as many
calories as a solid 40-minute session. Work-break
exercises can be as simple as walking or climbing
stairs, stretching or doing calisthenics.
Council on Exercise (ACE) Press Release