Exercise is always praised as the ultimate stress-reducer; after all, studies have shown that it can be a game changer for mental health, linked to major improvements in both depression and anxiety. But for many of us—as we drag ourselves to the gym on a Thursday afternoon and spend 45 pretty miserable minutes on the stationary bike before we dash to a work event or to dinner because we’re starving—we can’t help but wonder if our workout brought more stress than good into our day.
Wellness is all about listening to our bodies and honoring our truth, so what if we don’t feel better AFTER our workout? Could forcing ourselves to walk to the gym when we are tired, stressed, and overwhelmed actually hurt our health? Could it even contribute to adrenal fatigue, chronic cortisol production, and other hormonal imbalances?