“Stress is a double edged sword. Little stress will aid in your survival, but too much stress will threaten it!”
High stress output is the key here, and we must choose our activities and lifestyle accordingly.
Professional athletes, bodybuilders, martial artists etc do not begin their career with 8 hours at the gym right from day 1. They build this tolerance over time. But more importantly, they have figured out effective coping mechanisms that aid in releasing the accumulated stress and fasten the recovery process.
Stress Bucket Model: 6 Effective Ways to Combat Excess Stress
After a solid workout or after sitting for long hours in front of the computer at your 9-5 job, muscles tend to get tensed up and the body begins to feel rigid. If left unattended, these could also cause chronic pain, especially around the neck, shoulders, and back.
Stretching improves the blood circulation, which in turn relaxes the muscles and releases the stress. The improved blood circulation, in turn, improves the cardiovascular health. It also helps to shift the body from a catabolic state (during workout) to an anabolic state (recovery). Stretching slows down the heart rate and signals the nervous system to decrease the production of stress hormones. While improving circulation, stretching also sends new blood to the brain which improves our mood. And the mood is a major psychological stress factor.
Fitness professionals have long known the importance and benefits of stretching. I always advise my students to undertake a good stretching activity such as yoga to counter stress.