How does stress reduction through sport work? This article sheds light on this important topic and provides answers to how you can reduce your stress.
How exercise affects the body
Sport is murder? On the contrary: our body is programmed so strongly for regular movement that almost all organs suffer and even the brain gets tired if you just sit sluggishly on the sofa.
Regular exercise is also fitness training for the mind. Active muscles send out messenger substances that stimulate the production of the protein BDNF (Brain-Derived-Neurotrophic Factor) in the brain. The body needs it for the growth of new nerves and the formation of nerve connections in the head. If you train twice a week in the middle age group, you can reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s by about 60 percent.
During physical activity, messenger substances are emitted that cause fat deposits to disappear. This also reduces the risk of diabetes. Fat cells release substances that can lead to a disturbance in insulin production. Regular exercise can even cure mild forms of type 2 diabetes.
Physical activity also stimulates the so-called parasympathetic nervous system, which among other things promotes digestion. Too little movement is the main cause of constipation. Internists therefore advise to try the effect of about 30 minutes of exercise a day before trying laxatives.
During physical exertion the heart has to pump faster, the blood circulation improves and more oxygen and thus more nutrients are transported to the cells. According to a study by British psychologists at the University of St. Andrews, the rosy skin that this creates makes us more attractive to others.
High blood pressure patients who exercise need less medication. The reduction in weight and the reduction of stress hormones in the blood, among other things, normalise blood pressure in athletes. In addition, physical exercise triggers repair mechanisms in the coronary vessels. Experts estimate that half an hour of endurance sports three times a week could reduce the number of cardiac deaths by a quarter.
- upper thigh
Po and thighs become firmer through sport, because movement combats orange-peel skin (cellulite) in several ways: through the breakdown of subcutaneous fatty tissue, the building of muscles and because it influences the production of collagen. Endurance and strength exercises are effective for the legs.
Stress reduction through sport: exercises
The goal of stress management is to learn methods that can help athletes control stress and anxiety. Learning to deal with stress and anxiety is essential for an athlete who has to work under high pressure. The ability to control this nervousness and concern is crucial for the highest level of performance.
Below you will find methods for coping with stress:
- Progressive muscle relaxation: This includes the conscious contraction of muscles followed by greater relaxation.
- Self-directed relaxation: relies on the athlete’s ability to isolate and relax individual muscle groups. This can be improved by practice.
- Deep breaths: This has calming effects on the mind and physiological effects such as heart rate reduction.
- Biofeedback: The observation of physiological measurements such as heart rate and respiratory rate allows the athlete to concentrate on reducing these measures.
Visual language is the use of mental images and scenarios to relax the mind. This can be either internal (see your performance from within your body) or external (see your performance as if you were someone or somewhere else). Images can be used to relax by imagining a favorite place or a calming scene or to rehearse the upcoming performance. The mental sample should be effective on three levels:
- Neuromuscular: Thinking through a movement creates the correct sequence and strength of muscle contraction, similar to a dry exercise.
- Cognitive: Thinking through and planning an event in the mind can help the athlete.
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