Use Exercise to Reduce Stress

By Amy Hall, Group Exercise Director & Personal Trainer, Elite Sports Club-North Shore

Who among us isn’t stressed in some way or another? As we go through life we experience many situations that can lead to either short or long-term stress. I’m not about to start naming them, but I can certainly give first hand testimony to that! Raise your hand if you agree…

Exercise Relieves Stress

Okay, so how do you handle it? Exercise! It’s a proven stress-buster. Just one exercise session can generate 90-120 minutes of relaxation response. This is caused in part by the increase in production of endorphins, your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters. They improve your mood and leave you feeling relaxed. Clinicians have actually done studies on this and have measured a post-workout decrease in the electrical activity of tensed muscle and an increase in the flow of oxygen.

Exercise can also be a very positive distraction from life’s daily struggles. Concentrating on your body’s movements can cause you to forget about whatever else may be on your mind and replace it with a new sense of calm and balance. This creates a reduction in anxiety which may continue on to other aspects of your life and even improve your quality of sleep.

Sometimes the hardest part is just getting started. Any form of movement will do as long as it’s something you enjoy so that you’ll stick with it and want to do it on a regular basis – that’s the key. For some exercisers an all-out sweat session is in order, while for others the focused and controlled movements of yoga or pilates are more desirable. All varieties are sure to improve your mood and body, therefore increasing your self-confidence.

Think about what works for you, your body and your daily schedule. Make it a priority and write it on your calendar. Work out alone or ask a friend to be your workout buddy. Find a personal trainer who can motivate, inspire, and encourage you to reach your goals. Make it your controlled environment, you have the power. Stop stressing and start moving!

Check out our Mind/Body calendar for a list of yoga & pilates classes. Or get started with a personal trainer (special training packages available for new members!)

What do you do to reduce the stress in your life? How does exercise affect your stress levels? Tell us in the comments!

Benefits of Steam Room Therapy

Detox and rejuvenate your body in one of our steam rooms conveniently located at each of our Elite Sports Clubs locations. Towels are provided for all individuals who wish to partake in the wonderful benefits of our steam rooms.

Benefits of Steam Room Therapy-Elite Sports Clubs

Steam “baths” are known for relaxation and stress relief, but steam room benefits also include:

  • Muscle soreness relief
  • Stiff joint relief
  • Immune system enhancement
  • Lymph detoxification
  • Blood circulation improvement
  • Sinus congestion relief

Heat causes your blood vessels to expand, which increases blood circulation. As a result, more oxygen and nutrients can reach damaged parts of your body. This has a double effect of temporarily reducing or stopping pain as well as increasing your body’s healing rate. Spend 10-15 minutes in a steam room post workout and you will speed up healing of damaged muscle tissue.

The high concentration of moisture in steam baths has also been proven to be effective treatment for respiratory conditions such as:

  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Sinusitis
  • Allergies

Regular use of a steam room can improve not only your health, but also your appearance. Nothing is better for your skin than a heavy sweat. Heavy sweating cleanses your skin more thoroughly than soap and water because it opens your pores and allows deep-seated grime and dead cells to be flushed out. This is one reason steam baths can be helpful for acne treatment and some other skin conditions. The heat of a steam room also causes an increase in blood circulation, bringing more oxygen and nutrients to your skin surface. Over time, this can help contribute to a healthy, glowing appearance.

Steam Rooms are offered at all Elite Sports Clubs. Adult use of steam rooms is included with all Elite Sports Clubs memberships, along with towel service and luxury locker rooms. Come take a tour of any of our 5 Milwaukee-area Elite Sports Clubs locations today!