The Number 1 Resiliency Factor: Fitness

Sometimes people ask me “What is the most important factor for building stress immunity?” I speak about many factors so it’s hard to pick one as the most important. But if I have to pick just one, I say fitness.

Working out provides the obvious benefits to physical health such as increased stamina, endurance and physical strength, which help you get through critical events. The benefits go way beyond that.

Exercise has a direct effect on brain chemistry, releasing feel-good biochemicals like endorphins. It also regulates serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. Studies show that even people suffering from depression and anxiety usually reap some benefit from a regular fitness program. Exercise also helps to flush stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline from your system. Had a bad day at work? Have a sick feeling in your stomach from all the stress hormones in your system? Go for a run! Nothing will make you feel better. At least nothing without harmful side-effects!

Exercise also helps you sleep better, lowers blood pressure and increases feelings of well-being and self-confidence. All of which help you build stress immunity.

A fitness program helps on so many levels, with body, mind and emotions. No worries – you don’t have to be a marathon runner. Start where-ever you are able, but get active and reap the rewards.