So I have already discussed how exercise helps remove the adrenaline caused by stress, thus helping to control immune function, but it does even more than this. Exercise does make it more likely that you won’t get stressed in the first place, which is really good, because using adrenaline too often, even if you clear it from your system, is no good it can exhaust your adrenals leading to enormous fatigue and actually increasing your stress levels and making it harder to manage your yeast infection.
Adrenaline is like emergency credit in your energy account. It can be called upon in a drastic circumstance to get you out of a tight situation. However, interest is charged – you will have less energy later when you come down off the high. Additionally if you use this emergency credit all the time you will find out you are over drawn and there is none left. You then have to be good for a long time, resting a lot, never calling upon that credit etc until you have allowed your body to repair and replenish that supply. And that repair can take years.
So it is important to get stressed as little as possible – particularly if it is not important.
So how does exercise help you reduce the number of times that you get stressed?
Firstly, being unfit causes its own stress and being fit allows us to function at our peak 1, so the fit person is less likely to suffer any chronic condition, including a yeast infection.
Exercise also relaxes tension in muscles and improves sleep2. Good sleep is essential to health in every area of our body, including our immune system’s ability to fight off candida albicans.
Exercise also reduces stress by helping your brain to function more effectively3 – which is great when you are in a potentially stressful situation, as you will more easily be able to think of solutions to your problems. Stress is often the result of the perception that demands are greater than resources in a persons life4. Therefore, if you can improve your brain function, your resources increase and your stress will drop. Exercise improves brain function purely by increasing blood flow to the brain. This takes more nutrients including sugars to the brain for use and more quickly removes the toxins that can build up in the brain during intense thought. These toxins if not removed cause a ‘woolly’ headed feeling. Leading to more stress.
And then of course exercise releases endorphins into the blood stream – a chemical that increases our sense of happiness and well-being.
There is lots of scientific proof that exercise is excellent for helping us manage stress and live a happy life, and I have found it to be just so true. It is funny, as a teenager I disliked exercise for the sake of it. I enjoyed sport such as hockey and tennis, but being told to jog three laps around the oval and then do sit ups did nothing for my mood (I thought). But I discovered that I love walking. Love it. Bush walking, town walking, walking with friends, walking alone. As I got older I discovered I also love dancing. Belly dancing, zumba dancing, dancing around the living room to latin dance music – flamenco dancing (my version) anything. And then I did a yoga course because I heard it was good for you and I love that to. And now the very thought of getting exercise makes me happy. I even dance while folding the washing. I love it. So if you think you don’t like exercise, try something new, keep trying, it is so good for you.
And just further to our discussion the other week, I was reading a parenting book that was discussing anger management, which is a variant of stress management, really and it pointed out that breathing deeply works as a stress release as the additional oxygen helps remove adrenaline from the blood stream5 – and exercise, particularly cardiovascular helps us breathe more deeply. So just do it!
1. Mind Tools
4. aqui Triffett, psychologist – notes from personal interview in author’s possession.
5. 5E Pantley, The No-Cry Discipline solution