Managing Stress with Exercise

02 February 2016Matt Hilton

Our bodies were built in a different time. Evolution hasn't kept pace with how our lives have adapted in response to industrialisation, globalisation, and the information age.

Stress is almost a given for professional and information workers. It can be a good motivator, but it can also be a detractor in excess.

Prolonged periods of fight-or-flight response resulting from heightened stress levels, combined with sedentary jobs like project management and software development inevitably lead to build-up of stress hormones in the body.

In earlier days, exercise and manual labour were a fact of life - they balanced life's stresses, and allowed us to work adrenaline and cortisol out of the body.

For sedentary workers, this doesn't happen. Exercise is a crucial tool for managing stress, anxiety/depression, sleeplessness and fatigue.

It's when you want to exercise the least that you need it the most!


Build at least 3x 45-minute sessions of exercise into your week, and do it consistently. Balance cardio (hard walking, running, swimming, cycling) and resistance (lifting weights, body-weight exercises, kayaking/rowing) exercises.

Add a team sport to keep things social, and you're on the path to success.