WRITTEN BY Allison Fox
There’s a reason some of us handle stress better than others.
For anyone who is feeling absolutely buried at work today, here is one piece of advice: Do not miss that workout you had planned.
According to a recent study published in Medicine & Science In Sports & Exercise, being in good shape is critical for protecting your body against high-stress moments at work.
Work-related stress can take a toll on mental wellbeing, but it also has physical consequences. It can also raise the likelihood of cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure and a poor blood lipid profile, according to the researchers.
To figure out how being in shape helped stressed out workers, the researchers studied the fitness levels of 200 Swedish employees, making note of their cardiovascular risk factors such as cholesterol, blood pressure, body mass index and stress level.
The study’s researchers found that the most stressed individuals were more likely to struggle with these heart health risk factors, unless they were also among the most fit.
When both fit and unfit employees experienced high stress, the unfit participants also showed high levels of LDL cholesterol while the fit group did not. However when both unfit and fit employees experienced low stress, their LDL cholesterol levels showed less of a difference.
In other words, since stress is likely to bring on aforementioned cardiovascular risk factors, it pays to be in good shape when you experience them.
“Above all, these findings are significant because it is precisely when people are stressed that they tend to engage in physical activity less often,” Markus Gerberof, a study author and professor at the University of Basel said in a statement.
Indeed, a hard day at the office can make anyone feel like curling up on the couch with a glass of wine and some Netflix. But getting your butt to the gym may be the best remedy.
Our best advice? Sign up for a class in advance so you lose money if you skip it. Or there’s always the morning workout, which might help you chill before the first email even rolls in.