Can Stress Push You Through Tough Workouts?

Though stress can oftentimes make exercise the bottom thing on our priorities list, as it takes energy reserves from our body that we oftentimes just don’t have at the moment, the fact of the matter is that the relationship between stress and exercise is a complicated affair.

But sometimes, it actually could have a positive correlation, too.

Though psychological stress can wreck your workouts and drain you of the desire to even try them, it can also perk you up and have you go ham on your workout routine, as you’ll find out below.

Stress Can Give You an Extra Push


That’s right, there is a hidden fitness benefit to battling a stressful situation. Basketball players who practiced in stressful circumstances actually performed better on an anxiety-inducing free-throw performance test only five weeks later than players who worked out in a calmer environment.

On a more basic level, that indicates that experiencing workouts while under stress or psychological pressure leads to confidence that can help push you towards, say, running a faster 5K or outperforming your opponents in your next volleyball match. Greater still, there’s proof that this self-assurance tactic could help you be at your best when it comes to both work and social situations, says University of Chicago psychologist Sian Beilock, Ph.D., who also wrote the book Choke: What the Secrets of the Brain Reveal About Getting It Right When You Have To.

Researchers believe that simply changing your mindset can be the difference between success and failure, Beilock explains. Instead of considering stress as a hindrance to your success, take it as fuel and consider it a foe that you are ready to conquer. Even if you live a relatively low-stress lifestyle, try raising your gym routine to the next level by increasing intensity or weights so you can better your performance when it matters, like when you’re racing against time in your next marathon or playing a game of one-on-one with your trash-talking buddy.


Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Robert Jinks

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