Stress Management through Exercise after Weight Loss Surgery

Stress Management through Exercise after Weight Loss SurgeryWeight loss surgery will change many things in your life, but how you handle stress may not be one of them.  In fact, if you have a tendency toward emotional eating, finding a more constructive outlet for your feelings will be especially important after bariatric surgery.  Becoming more active and eventually beginning a regular exercise routine will help you undo many of the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle as well as helping with your weight loss and giving you a method for controlling stress that does not lead to overeating.

How does exercise help?

Research in the area of human emotions show that happiness or a positive state of mind is often proportional to the amount of exercise that your body gets.  These studies indicate that with regular exercise your anxiety levels and stress decrease by around 40%.  During exercise your body produces endorphins which act on the brain to make you feel good and reduce discomfort.  After activity, these endorphins float around in your blood for a while, helping you control depression, anxiety and stress.

The benefits of exercise on stress

The relationship between exercise and the function of your muscles, heart and lungs is well known.  What is not as widely known is that exercise has a dramatic effect on improving the blood flow to your brain. It brings in additional oxygen and sugar that is needed if you are concentrating on something. If you are thinking intensely about a particular topic then the neurons of the brain also function in an intense manner. When this happens there is a production of toxins in the brain. This toxic waste leads to a state where your brain cannot function properly.

At the same time as your brain is getting more nutrients, it is also receiving more neurohormones that help to counteract the negative effects of stress.  The stores of these brain chemicals that are depleted by stress get a chance to restore themselves during exercise.  With greater reserves at hand, your brain can function at a higher level giving you better memory and an elevated mood.

Calm under pressure

Engaging in vigorous activities like running or cycling can help you develop better stress management techniques. When you are running your body enters a stressed state. Your heart rate increases and adrenaline starts pumping at an enhanced rate. All the while you are breathing and actually relieving stress. Taking deep breaths and engaging in cardio activity like this regularly can help you better cope with stressful situations outside of your fitness routine by helping you develop stronger breathing techniques.

Don’t use the wrong approach

It’s important that you consult the right professional before you start your exercise regimen. A wrong approach to exercise may harm your body in the long run and would also increase your levels of stress. Take appropriate medical advice before you integrate a strenuous workout into your daily routine.

More importantly, while exercising avoid thinking about how it would benefit your mind or how it would help you relax. Just think about yourself and the fact that it’s going to increase your levels of fitness. Everything else will take care of itself.