Exercise is, of course, good for your body… but should you still go for a jog, go to yoga class, or take a swim when you’re particularly stressed out after a long day at the office? Well, it is exactly when you’re stressed out that you should consider taking up exercise and making it a routine if you haven’t already.

First and foremost, vigorous physical activity triggers the release of endorphins; the so-called ‘feel good’ hormones which literally make you feel better. Ever heard of the term “runner’s high”? Well, that exhilarating sensation that follows heavy exercise (you don’t actually have to be running) isn’t simply in your head—it’s real, and it helps a lot when you’re feeling down.

More importantly, though, as your focus shifts more and more to the tempo of your breathing, the number of laps you’ve run so far, or the impact of your tennis racquet hitting the ball, you’ll find that the annoyances and irritations of the day slowly fades into the background before vanishing completely. As these exercise routines become more and more common, you’ll also find that focusing on the single task at hand—whether it’s a tennis match or simply running several laps around the block—can help you remain clear and calm throughout the rest of the day.

So, next time you feel like screaming after a hectic day, take up your running shoes instead…

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