In your busy, stressful life full of deadlines and meetings, it’s hard to find time to get to the gym every day.  Well, what if I told you that not only will daily exercise make you look better and even lose some weight; it can also make your life less stressful?  Getting aerobic exercise can actually reduce anxiety by up to 50%.  Imagine half the stress just because you took a morning run.  While a workout can’t get rid of all the things you need to do during the day, it can help you cope with your stress better.  Here are some of the many reasons exercise is great for lowering your stress and anxiety.

* Exercise improves your mood.  Aerobic exercise produces chemicals that make you feel happier and more ready to face the day.  It also increases blood flow to the brain; furthering this happy, energetic feeling.  The better you feel about life, the less stress will weigh on you and get you down.
* Exercise gives you more energy.  Stress makes you feel run down and tired during the day.  If you exercise in the morning, you’ll get a great energy boost to keep you going in the late morning and afternoon.  You may feel fatigued during the first few weeks of exercise.  Be persistent and the energy will come.
* Exercise helps you sleep.  There is nothing that reduces stress more than a good night’s sleep.  Sleep not only recharges your tense, achy muscles; it also refreshes your mind and allows you to process information from the day.  Getting more, higher quality sleep on a regular basis will help you cope with the stresses of everyday life.  Just remember to do aerobic activity well before bedtime.
* Exercise gives you time to think.  A lot of the stress we face is from our own mind.  Instead of doing work and fixing problems, we’re worrying about doing work and fixing problems.  Exercise gives you time alone to focus on your thoughts and clear your head without a bunch of distractions.  That way, after your work out; you can get to work on fixing a problem instead of worrying about it.

If you can’t do an aerobic workout, or just don’t think it’s enough; try yoga or stretching.  These exercises are great for soothing sore, tense muscles, clearing your mind, and relaxing you.  Plus, if you have no free time in the morning, these exercises can be done at night without keeping you from your sleep (they’ll probably even help).  Just find a book or take a class.  You should be able to find poses and movements that relate specifically to stress reduction and relaxation.

So make a plan and start a regular workout routine.  If you stick with it, you’ll start feeling less stressed, less anxious, and more relaxed in no time.