Desmond Kaplan MD FAPA

Child, Adolescent & Adult Psychiatry

1777 Reisterstown Road, Suite 50
 Baltimore, MD 21208

Stress Management Through Exercise

Exercise and physical activity can be an an excellent way to reduce and manage stress. Exercise in any form can reduce stress, provide numerous health benefits, and improve the overall sense of well-being for many individuals. People who exercise experience benefits on chemical, physical and psychological levels. They feel more energetic throughout the day, have a better sex life, sleep better at night, have sharper memories, and feel more relaxed and positive about themselves and their lives.

Exercise helps the body to manage stress by producing neurotransmitters called endorphins, the body's natural source of relaxation and pain relief. When endorphins are released through exercise, people feel relaxed and have an over-all sense of well being. Physical tension is also often relieved through through movement and physical activity. Regular exercise can increase self-confidence and lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety. In addition to reducing stress, the health benefits of regular exercise may include:

  • Lowers risk of heart disease,diabetes and obesity
  • Improves self-esteem
  • Keeps joints, tendons and ligaments healthy
  • Improves sleep
  • Increases energy and endurance
  • Helps to maintain a healthy weight

After exercise, many people feel more relaxed and are able to more calmly address the issues of stress in their lives. Virtually any form of exercise or movement can increase fitness level while decreasing stress.

Before starting an exercise program, individuals should always consult with their doctors. Once an exercise regimen has been established, the most important factor is sticking with it. Exercising with a friend or changing the type of exercise from time to time may help to make exercise a constant part of your life. Any form of physical activity can help people to relax and be an important approach to easing stress.

Additional Resources