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Overcoming Stress with Exercise

Updated on October 31, 2009

This hub is centered on overcoming stress with exercise.  Are you feeling stressed? Check to see if you notice one or more of these symptoms: pain in the neck, headaches or stomach upsets; tendency to dwell on your problems all the time; drinking or smoking more than usual; constant sense of frustration or feeling miserable; waking up worrying or having that sense of dread that won’t go away; and sleeping a lot more or less than usual. If you are experiencing these symptoms, it’s time to admit to yourself, “I’m stressed” and decide right here and now to do something about it.

Headache. Pain in the neck. Feeling nauseous. Check! Could it be that I’m overworked, eyes glued to the computer screen for long periods of time?

Tendency to dwell on your problems. Check! Oh no, I’ve noticed lately that even if I’m sleeping or driving or making poo poo, my mind is still thinking of what to write for my hub.

Sleeping less. Check! I sleep late and wake up at 2 am to check if the internet connection is okay so I can publish my hub for the day.

Okay, okay, I admit. I’m having Hub Stress already. Help!

There are many ways to fight stress. One way is to exercise. Getting yourself into an active mode by engaging in physical activity is definitely one way to help you cope with stress. Studies have shown that exercise has been proven to lower cholesterol levels, release muscle tension, increase the supply of oxygen to the brain and the rest of our body, and an outlet for negative emotions such as anger, irritability and resentment by releasing feel good hormones called the endorphins to the brain.

Hey, I exercise! Well, my wrist and fingers do. And I walk too. I go to the table where the telephone is and dial Globe Customer Service to complain about our slow or dead internet connection. I then do mouth and facial contortions when they tell me again and again, “We are sorry for the inconvenience ma’am but due to system restorations…” Blah, blah, blah. Making faces is a good exercise right?

Sorry for blabbering. What was it that I need? Feel good hormones? Can I buy that in the pharmacy?

Now that is our goal. We want those endorphins. We want those feel good hormones. And if exercise helps release those feel good hormones in my body, I am very much willing to engage in exercise. Are you willing to do it also? Alright! Let’s do it!

Groan. But if I exercise, I won’t have time to write my hub. I haven’t written one for today. Don’t look at me like that. Alright, I’ll zip my mouth. Zzzziiiippp.

Seven Important Things to Remember

  1. If you have any health problems (e.g. heart, back, spine problems, etc.) always consult your doctor first.
  2. Be realistic about your fitness goals. (e.g. start with a three times a week work out and slowly increasing it to four or five times a week.) Exercise sensibly and build strength and endurance. If you push yourself too hard you may end up feeling tired and discouraged.
  3. Choose an exercise that you like to do best so you don’t feel forced and end up quitting so soon.
  4. Always warm up and cool down before and after every exercise.
  5. Wear the right clothing.
  6. Drink lots of water.
  7. Most of all have loads and loads of fun!

Oh now you are talking about fun. Why didn’t you say so in the first place?

Well… I could use some fun in my vocabulary right now. I’ve been so serious lately I think that’s why I felt like vomiting when I think I have to write another hub. I concede.

Hey, you may be right. I do need to get up from this chair and just move a bit. What choices do I have?

The Walking Habit

This is one of my favorite exercises. All you need is a good pair of walking shoes and you can start right away. Walking is one of the easiest exercises and one that you can fit into your busy schedule. You can also choose a good location to walk like a park so you can commune with nature and breathe in fresh air. And if it rains, you can actually do indoor walking or use a treadmill.

Alternatives: brisk walking or jogging.

Dance the Blues Away

Dancing is fun and requires no special equipment. Do you know that dancing, aside from reducing stress, can increase bone density, improves your coordination and balance, tones your muscles and helps improve osteoporosis in women? Yes it does and more. So pick your favorite song and just allow yourself to move to the music. If you are interested in a particular form of dance, you can start enrolling in a class or buying a DVD to help you get started.

Some of the dance alternatives: aerobics, ballet, belly dancing, pole dancing, line dancing, swing, tango, cha-cha, salsa & other ballroom dances.

Swim into Action

Unlike other sports, swimming places no stress on joints and ligaments. That’s why it is ideal for people who have arthritis or those with joint problems. It can be good for those who are overweight, those with asthma, and virtually almost anyone. Learn to do different strokes like freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly for a full body workout. Swimming can also be meditative as you allow yourself to float and enjoy being lost in your own thoughts.

Variations: Water polo or synchronized swimming.

The Martial Arts Discipline

If you want something new to learn aside from the usual aerobics classes, another option would be Tae-Bo and kickboxing, workouts inspired by martial arts. All martial arts practices involve making a goal and teaching you how to accomplish it. This develops commitment and ultimately discipline. It also improves your coordination, flexibility, keeps your body strong and your mind sharp as you grow older.

Variations: Tai Chi, graceful controlled movements that can be executed by those who can no longer perform vigorous activities because of age, disabilities or illness.

Yoga for Health

Yoga poses called asanas, done with proper breathing, calms your mind, can make your body stronger and flexible, relax and tone your internal organs, boost your energy as your breathing and circulation improves. I know this to be true because yoga has helped me tremendously cope with my emotional and mental stress which was taking its toll on my body. Daily practice of yoga can help restore your natural balance, harmony and improves your health and outlook in life. Try this one for starters: 15-minute Yoga for Relaxation for Beginners or enroll in a yoga class.

Other forms of exercises:

  • Golf
  • Cross Country Skiing
  • Gardening
  • Pilates
  • Biking
  • Mountain Climbing
  • Wall Climbing
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Tennis
  • Skating
  • Cleaning the House

Gee I had fun! And I’m not just saying that. While you were lecturing all these, I did a 30 minute walk on the treadmill while listening to my favorite songs. I do feel better. In fact, I actually feel really good! This feel good hormone is quite something. I feel so good that I’ve decided to do it again tomorrow. And maybe next week, I’ll go swimming or belly dancing, pole dancing or even mountain climbing! We’ll see…

There are many ways to exercise to keep your body fit and healthy. Deciding to engage in a physical activity that you enjoy is one way to help you fight stress. The way to a loving and abundant life starts by the decision to love yourself by taking care of you.

BY: Michelle Simtoco

What kind of exercise do you enjoy the most?

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    • tiffany delite profile image

      tiffany delite 

      8 years ago from united states

      another great hub dear...of course, i have never heard any of the excuses from your examples to not exercise from myself...wink wink. i vow to oust the excuses and bring on the exercise!!

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Look for Yoga Zone dvd's. I used those and they are quite good. I don't know which store is selling it though. You may have to shop around the malls with stores who sell dvd's :)

    • profile image

      8 years ago

      Any idea where we might avail of the sports and Yoga DVDs here in Cebu?

    • creativelycc profile image

      Carrie L Cronkite 

      8 years ago from Maine

      So right! This is the second hub I read tonight on exercise. Gotta find the time to do it!

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi Al and Glenn, thank you for taking the time to comment. I say yes to exercise. :)

    • Glenn Raymond profile image

      Glenn Raymond 

      8 years ago from Bailey, Colorado

      This is a most excellent hub. Everyone needs a push in the right direction sometimes, you have written this so well it does just that. I forgot how much I enjoy hiking and now that winter is over I can get to it. Thank You.

    • Mystique1957 profile image


      8 years ago from Caracas-Venezuela

      Another great hub, Michelle Joy!

      Good for health and mirth too...

      Thank you for sharing so much through your hubs!

      May God Bless You always!

      warm regards and more blessings,


    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      That's great Cobraski. You have found one stress buster! :-)

    • cobraski profile image


      9 years ago from Maryland

      I enjoy exercising!

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi ocbill, it is a wonderful way of detoxifying stored up emotions which causes stress! :) Thanks for dropping by.

    • ocbill profile image


      9 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      exercise definitely works on getting rid of stress. it is like a detoxification

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi BC, indoor cycling can be fun too...maybe bring in a friend or two should do the trick :-) Hope the rain stops enough for you to go out and breathe in fresh air.

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi newsworthy, okay I'm pushing you out of your chair now...ppppuuuussssh!!!! :-) ROFL

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Gee, I needed this! It helps to have someone give that push when you dont have a personal trainer.

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Okay, I will look into it. You know what? I do agree about allowing the energy to flow around our body. I no longer feel exhausted after doing healing work. When I started out, I would really be drained. But these things really are a great help. It is so sweet of you to remember me. :-)

    • funride profile image

      Ricardo Nunes 

      9 years ago from Portugal

      I have been trying to ride every weekend (yesterday I had a great one). Qi Gong (or Chi Gong) can be described as a variety of exercises which allow the energy to flow around our body. The movements are similar to Tai Chi and the main secret is the way we breath. I think of you because it also has some healing properties ;)

      You can find more about it here:

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hey Dottie, I'm glad I made you laugh. All of this is worth it then. LOL I was actually having fun writing it all down. Oh you want to dance the boogie? I can dance with you. Or if you like cha cha I can do that too! Hahahah Thanks sis for the laughter. And for exercising your thumb to give this hub a star! :-)

      Hi cashmere, the hubchallenge has that ghost effect on my nerves....yelp! LOL

      Hi Shamel, camping and watching the stars...can I come along? Wow, that would indeed be relaxing. Enjoy and have fun. And yes, the exercise has help me a lot so now I've released a lot of stress.

      Hi Madison, the difficult part is gettting started and it pays sometimes to have company. Friends can always pull you out of the chair. LOL Most of all, I love anything that is natural and pill free.

      Hi Charia, I have problems with that too if I sleep late. So I just exercise at night...after work. :-) Thanks for dropping by.

      Hi funride, yes I know your fave exercise...LOL So how is your biking escapades nowadays? Hey I've heard of Qi Gong but do not have in depth knowledge of it. Want to share what you know with me? :-) I'm all ears...

    • funride profile image

      Ricardo Nunes 

      9 years ago from Portugal

      My favorite exercise (as you already know) is biking :)

      But I have been learning Qi Gong and I´m loving it. It makes me feel great and I often think about you when I´m doing it as it is a good healing exercise (did you ever try it?).

    • Charia Samher profile image

      Charia Samher 

      9 years ago

      Most of the time I think I'm stressed out, I've tried exercising using wii fit, my first few days was ok but now my problem is how to get up early for that.

      Thanks for sharing!

    • Madison Parker profile image

      Madison Parker 

      9 years ago from California

      Good Hub! Exercise always helps get our spirits up.

      Sometimes it's tough to get the tush off the deck chair, but once you do, it does more to make one feel well and alive than any pill ever could!

    • shamelabboush profile image


      9 years ago

      Wow, perfect hub which discussed everyone's trouble these days... I had and still have most of the above stress symptoms bcz of too much work I guess. I tried to walk and jog and it helped actually, but again, work, family, friends and many many many things steal you away from the normal life you desire. Anyway, I find my relieve nowadays thru camping and getting away from the busy city... Next week, we're going camping with lots of pinays by the shore. We will swim and watch the stars. I think it will keep me alive for a while :) Have a stress-free day ripplemaker.

    • cashmere profile image


      9 years ago from India

      Love the ghost voice stessing about hubs!

    • Dottie1 profile image


      9 years ago from MA, USA

      Hahahaha Sis, you reallly get silly and funny when you get hub stress.  I am rofl...  But don't you worry I will be there to hold the bucket, hahaha!  See now my face is getting a good workout from all this laughing and I feel great.  

      I like to have 3 forms of exercise just so when I get bored with one I have another ready so that I don't come up with any excuses not to excercise.  (But honestly I still do!, lol)  

      I think dancing to music is great.  I learned something from this hub about dancing and how it can help with bone density and I do need help with that so I'll be sure to turn the music up loud and do some boogieing, ahhh tomorrow!

      Keep on hubbing Sis and don't forget to exercise your stress away.  I'll go exercise my thumbs now and press the thumbs up for ya; have fun!


    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Yes, he is. Laughing can be an exercise too..for the face and mouth. LOL

    • VioletSun profile image


      9 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      Misha is funny. Well, lifting a glass to drink can be "exercise". LOL!

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi Misha, yes, drinking won't interfere with hubbing or doing computer work LOL If I do need to drink, give me lots and lots of water. It's summer now and I'm always thirsty. Nice to see you again Misha! :-)

      Hi VioletSun, movement without stress is a superb idea! I like that term too. And taking time off to have fun can actually help increase creativity. :-) Yes!

    • VioletSun profile image


      9 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      Michelle: This is a timely hub for me; just last night I told my s/o Phil that since I have been working in the garden, we took a longer walk the other day, in other words have been doing physical things, I find that I a get more creative; I am able to sit down and finish my creative projects.  In the end I feel I had a fulfilled day because other things enters in my day such as listening to beautiful music, reading or whatever comes up. I realize I have to move to keep my energy high, but movement without stress,  always have been this way, and best to go with the flow.

    • Misha profile image


      9 years ago from DC Area

      My favorite exercise is drinking :P

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Jmell, you said it...cheapest and easiest. :-)

      Triplet Mom, another beautiful phrase "doing something that you enjoy!"

      Dolores, and another one..."can cure mild to medium depression."

      I LOVE your words! Thanks for sharing them here :-)

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      9 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Ripplemaker you are so right on this - exercise can cure mild to medium depression too, it just makes you feel good and the goal accomplishment helps too.

    • Triplet Mom profile image

      Triplet Mom 

      9 years ago from West Coast

      Great hub, I think the best exercise is doing something that you enjoy that you do not realize you are exercising. Exercising also helps you to clear your mind. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Exercise is certainly the easiest and cheapest stress reliever available!


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