Movement is proven to be the miracle cure for an over-used and under-appreciated sympathetic nervous system, says leading British Physician Sir Muir Gray.
Sir Muir Gray has provided the information you need to turn your next stress and anxiety spell, into fuel that powers your movement and activity, which alleviates tension and stress from the body.
As the Chief Knowledge Officer at EXi, an NHS-approved exercise prescription app, Sir Muir has detailed how the physiological sensations we experience when going through an anxious and stressful moment, such as an increased heart rate, heightened awareness and sweating; are very similar to those we experience when exercising.
“The key difference is the long-term effects each of these has on the body, with one resulting in negative impacts and the latter being vital in creating lasting positive changes.” He explains.
He adds; “We all know that stress is the silent killer, not only does it affect our emotional and mental health negatively causing anxiety, sleep problems and headaches, but it also wreaks havoc on our physical health because stress combined with inactivity causes inflammation which increases the risk heart disease, type 2 diabetes and dementia
Sir Muir noticed these underlying causes and treatments in full when his daughter, Tat Gray started going through a particularly stressful period after a major accident.
“Many of her stress related problems were solved by high intensity training. It became clear that our bodies aren’t prepared for all the stressors we experience day to day, but by doing exercise, not only are we normalising the physical sensations our bodies go through, but also minimising them.”
Completing as little as 10 minutes of brisk walking every 2 hours or 30 minutes of medium intensity movement, brisk walking for example once a day, is all it takes to neutralise the build-up of stress in the body.
“When we consider that we have at our disposal, a FREE remedy for stress and anxiety, it’s shocking that not more of us are using it as a treatment method. Walking, particularly brisk walking in a green environment , running, cycling, lifting weights (even tinned beans count!), yoga – all of these are free to do and are the miracle cures for the impact of stress on the nervous and immune systems.” Sir Muir explains.
By moving more, we increase the body’s ability to react positively to increased heart rate and temperature, a more robust breathing pattern and higher levels of physical alertness. By doing this little by little every day, we start coaching our bodies into these sensations and how to calm down from them. Not to mention, the positive chemicals that get released from doing movement, such as endorphins – contributes to overall higher immune systems and a more positive outlook.
Sir Muir Gray suggests movement-based rest periods for your mind and body to combat building stress. “This about it as mealtimes for your mind. It’s about finding the movement method that works for you. If you’re someone who is largely sedentary in your day to day and you find that stress and anxiety builds within you like an internal cloud, it’s really key to move every time you feel that shortness of breath and rising heart rate.
Grab your keys and get to the park for one short stint of walking. Or simply walk up and down your stairs at home if you don’t wish to go outside.”
“Equally, if you’re fit and active – that doesn’t mean stress doesn’t get to you! Find the movements and activities that increase your ability to handle those emotions, from swimming lengths to mindful dog walks – your body deserves a moment of rest from stress in an active and movement-based manner.”
The EXi app automates a personalised exercise programme for the management or prevention of multiple chronic diseases such as mental health conditions, and/or people with sedentary lifestyles. It analyses health, current fitness level, disease status and resting heart rate.
It also produces a personalised physical activity plan that gradually and safely helps increase activity levels and improve health. It is considered the most evidence-based behaviour change application currently available with backing from Apple, ukactive, Sport England, NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme and many more global health organisations.
For more information, visit www.exi.life