Relieve your stress with exercise

posted by Sarah Adolf on April 29, 2014 Destress

Demanding jobs and hectic personal lives can leave anyone feeling tired, wrung out, and stressed. Stress comes in many forms and affects people differently. It can be part of your daily life or creep in every once in a while. Learning different ways to cope with the stress in your life can help you manage these feelings of worry and anxiety. A healthy and fun way to lighten your mood and relieve stress is through exercise.

Exercise releases endorphins in your brain which can reduce anxiety, feelings of depression, boost your self-esteem and improve sleep. Regular exercise also reduces levels of adrenaline and cortisol in the body, which are proven stress hormones. Along with improving your mental health, exercise also helps your physical body by strengthening your heart, increasing energy levels, lowering blood pressure, and giving you improved muscle tone and less fat which can boost your own self image.

It’s ok to start slow. Begin with just 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic activity three times a week. Try and work your way up to four or five times a week once you feel comfortable. The easiest way to get started is by choosing an activity that you enjoy; it doesn’t have to be intense or strenuous. Activities can include walking, gardening, golf, tennis, swimming, yoga, mowing the lawn, or housework. Feel free to mix up your routine or try something new, just as long as you are staying active.

walking groupThe State has many resources to help employees get active or manage stress. SPD’s Walking Group meets every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, rain or shine, for 30 minutes of exercise on your lunch break. We begin at noon in IGC-S either outside by the Abe Lincoln statue on Robert Orr Plaza or inside the atrium. All State employees have private and confidential access to Anthem EAP which can help you balance your work and home life. They can be reached toll-free, 24/7 at (800) 223-7723 or online at On their homepage, click Member Login on the left side of the page. When asked for your company name, enter State of Indiana and Login for full access. Their website features information and tools for mental health and healthy living, among many other resources. Employees enrolled in our medical benefits can also access Healthy Lifestyles which provides you with a personalized well-being plan that includes tools for exercise or managing stress. More information about all of these resources can be found throughout our Invest In Your Health website.

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