Stress Relief: How Exercise and Supplementation can help you lead a Healthy Life


STRESS…is defined as, “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.” This is a nice way to put it. For most people, even looking at the word can cause anxiety. Stress affects everyone. It is how you cope with it that really matters. Everyone copes with stress in different ways. Some people take more of a homeopathic approach with meditation and/or exercise. Others resort to drugs and alcohol. For this article, we will focus on the importance of coping with stress with exercise and supplementation. 

Our bodies are hard-wired to react to stress by means of keeping us safe from our predators. Nowadays, we do not have as many predators, but we may have more stress. Lifestyle, jobs, children, family; your body still treats these everyday occurrences as stressors. Let’s break down stress as how the body handles it. 

When the body senses a threat or a challenging situation, this is known as a stressor. The body responds to the stressor by producing several different hormones; epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol.

Epinephrine, which is produced by the adrenal glands, is also known as adrenaline. This powerful stress hormone plays a vital role in the body’s acute stress response and gives us that “fight of flight” response. Norepinephrine is also produced by the adrenal glands and its role is to send a signal to the brain saying “this is a stressful situation”. Both epinephrine and norepinephrine are involved in the initial changes that take place to prepare the body to react and prepare for a new challenge. In an acute setting, these two hormones affect your blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration rate.

When you have a stressor that just will not go away, this is known as being chronic. Not only do the above-mentioned symptoms persist, but now you may have a decreased immune system, pain receptors may have heightened or diminished (pending the situation), upset digestive and reproductive systems, and your brain becomes rewired, leaving you vulnerable to anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems. 

The main hormone that is associated with stress is called cortisol. Cortisol is oddly enough nicknamed, “the stress hormone”. During an acute phase of stress, cortisol is released from the adrenal glands and a flood of glucose is released becoming the primary source of energy. When glucose is released, the body stops the production of insulin so that glucose is immediately available during our “fight or flight” stressor.



Normally, when the stressor is gone, our hormones return to normal. This is referred to as homeostasis. When the stressors are always present and the body constantly feels under attack, this is referred to as chronic stress. Your “fight or flight” system is always turned on. Blood pressure, heart rate, respiration rate, etc is always heightened. Chronic stress can lead to a multitude of health problems including, but not limited to:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Digestive problems
  • Persistent pain
  • Decreased immune system
  • Weight gain
  • Heart disease, stroke
  • Headaches
Now that we have broken down how the body responds to stress, let’s talk about different ways to cope with stress. Any form of exercise, from yoga and aerobics to heavy weight lifting, can help to relieve stress. Exercise increases your overall wellbeing and health by increasing endorphins. 
Endorphins are the ‘feel good’ hormones that are released by the pituitary gland and hypothalamus. Endorphins can be released during pleasurable moments, such as exercise, sex, or eating chocolate. They can also be released during painful situations, such as spraining an ankle, to relieve pain and discomfort temporarily. Exercise helps to give your endorphins a boost. Only 20-30 minutes per day can help boost your endorphin levels. If you are new to exercise or just need a refresher course on exercise visit Future Fitness Training. Our Fitness Specialist can help to get you started on the right track. 
While exercise, regular sleep, and good nutrition are the staples to help combat stress, several vitamins and supplements can also help. Fortunately, FFT Supplements is here to help guide you in the right direction. After all, you don’t need another stressor about which supplement to help you combat the initial stress that you are having. 
Supplementation is used to help manage stress. It is not a cure. Be very wary of supplements that claim to treat/cure stress or anxiety disorders. Several vitamins and other supplements have been linked to reducing stress symptoms. Some of these include:
  • Inositol
  • Vitamin B
  • Magnesium Glycinate
  • Ashwagandha 
  • Melatonin 
  • L-theanine
These particular supplements are addressed and are given further detail on how they work at our FFT Supplements website under our Stress and Anxiety page. According to an article written by U.S. News: Vitamins for Stress: Do they work?, the above mentioned were their supplements to look into to help manage stress. All those ingredients are in our supplements for stress and anxiety. Click here to learn more.
Everyone experiences stress at some point in their life. It is important to remember, that not all stress is bad. It is how we cope with stress that matters. Exercise, nutrition/supplementation, regular sleep, and possibly a journal to help write out possible triggers can help to manage stress. When you find a way to manage your stress, the rewards can include peace of mind, less stress and anxiety, a better quality of life, and possibly even leading a longer and healthier life.