After an overwhelming day at the office struggling through mounds of work and succumbing to stress, the first thing we want to do when we get home is kick off our shoes and curl up on the couch with a glass of wine. The tougher things get at the office and the more hours we pull, the apter we are to skip out on our workout as a reprieve from the stress.
Unfortunately, it turns out that this is the worst thing you could do in a stressful situation. Though that glass of pinot has your name on it, making it to that yoga class, hitting the treadmill, or sweating it out however you prefer will actually be more effective in combating your stress.
As highlighted in New York Magazine's "Science of Us," researchers from the University of Basel in Switzerland and Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Sweden found an interesting correlation between stress levels and exercise. The study, published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, found that "it is precisely when people are stressed that they tend to engage in physical activity less often," says co-author Markus Gerber, but this puts those individuals at higher risk for high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Even when it seems difficult to make the time for it, exercise acts as a stress reliever and directly fights off stress-related health risks.
The takeaway is obvious. No matter how overwhelmed things get at the office, don't let your stress levels persuade you to skip your workout as it's actually one of the best ways to help you deal with it.
Surprised by this finding? What's your strategy when work gets stressful?