How does being fit and strong take the sting out of stress? Certainly the act of exercising reduces the feelings of stress by helping you remove the stress hormone ‘cortisol’ http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20046037 and relaxing you in general but there is far more to it.
If your exercise significantly strengthens your body your strength becomes like a thick warm coat keeping out the cold. It makes every little action require less effort and at the end of your day you are much less drained. Every physical movement you make finds you more stable, balanced and using less energy. All your countless little movements add up and create micro damage and strength protects against this.
Your strength that comes from having plenty of extra lean muscle gives you interesting abilities you may not have considered. More muscle means more draw on your entire system (organs, nervous system etc). More muscle means the rest of you must fuel those engines. The end result is greater creation and use of hormones, nutrients , water and oxygen. In other words, your strength stimulates your metabolism and prompts your entire body to function at a higher level.
Finally we must also consider ‘good’ stress, stress that is enjoyable and exciting (think play). The stronger you are the more of this you tend to create in your life. Good stress and all the positive chemistry involved counters the frazzling and drag of bad stress. A strong body allows you to flush your system easily.
While mental/emotional points of view are important in stress management we firmly urge you to let strength fill that half-full/empty glass right to the top and let it overflow!
Be well, be strong,
Andrew and Tierney