By Kristin Glasure, FAIRHOPE President and CEO

Can physical activity help reduce stress? The simple answer is yes, according to an article from Harvard Medical School, “Exercise reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol.” Your body, metabolism, heart, and spirits will all experience extraordinary changes as a result of regular exercise. It has a unique ability to energize, stimulate and calm, to combat depression and reduce stress.

Not only does physical activity help reduce stress, but it also helps prevent the risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, colon and breast cancer, osteoporosis and fractures, obesity, depression, and even dementia. Physical activity also helps slow the aging process, increases energy, and is said to prolong life, states an article from Harvard Health Publishing.

Below is a list of physical activities to help reduce stress:

  • Yoga
  • Playing sports such as tennis, golf, pickleball, etc.
  • Swimming
  • Walking
  • Weightlifting
  • Hiking
  • Water aerobics
  • Stretching
  • Pilates
  • Running
  • Cycling
  • Dance

As a caregiver finding time for exercise can be difficult, but it’s critically important for your health. Try to find time to do some physical activity every day. Maybe that’s doing yoga at home in your living or taking a walk in one of the Lancaster City Parks. If you think a local fitness class would provide the accountability and connection you need, here’s a list to get you started.

We hope we’ve provided some valuable information along with some physical activities you can use to relax and reduce stress. Be sure to look for our next article in the series, which will focus on finding time for yourself during respite care.