People who exercise regularly will tell you they feel better. Some will say it's because chemicals called neurotransmitters, produced in the brain, are stimulated during exercise. Since it's believed that neurotransmitters mediate our moods and emotions, they can make us feel better and less stressed. One exercise session generates 90 to 120 minutes of relaxation response. Some people call this post-exercise euphoria or endorphin response. We now know that many neurotransmitters, not just endorphins, are involved. The important thing though is not what they're called, but what they do: They improve your mood and leave you relaxed.

Think about those times when you've been physically active. Haven't you felt better about yourself? That feeling of self-worth contributes to stress relief. When you think of fitness, you may be thinking of well-toned bodies, rock-hard abs and generally, just a fit and outstanding physique. What if I told you that in order to be truly fit and feel great you don’t need to be a body builder? Fitness is more than exercise. If you think exercise and weight control are all there is to fitness, you may be surprised! Fitness is a lifelong pursuit, not a short term goal. Physical fitness is defined as a set of attributes that people have or achieve that relates to the ability to perform physical activity.

If you've always been a competitive runner, take a look at other less competitive options that may help with stress reduction, such as yoga classes. As an added bonus, these kinder, gentler workouts may enhance your running while also decreasing your stress. Taking as little as 10 minutes from your day to focus on your breathing and flexibility will help shift your attention from a stressful situation to your body, allowing you to cope more effectively with any situation.

An interesting quote I came across is this: "The biggest obstacle people face in achieving physical and financial fitness is developing consistent and long-term healthy habits." This came from Countrywide Bank Managing Director, Pierre Habis. Interestingly, it points up the fact that anything worth achieving should become a mindset based on a long term goal. Add anything that is worth while achieving to your regular life routine.

In general, physical fitness is the ability to do daily activities without feeling overly tired. Physical fitness is especially beneficial in preventing coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease, enhancing muscle quality, preventing muscular deterioration and reducing depression. You see, true fitness is everything from proper sleep to proper nutrition, from stress reduction to weight reduction, and from flexibility to balance to relaxation. Being physically well toned and muscular does not mean you’re healthy.

Controlling stress comes down to making the time to exercise. Go on Folks! Exercise! You're worth it!