You Can Manage Stress with Exercise

Would it surprise you to learn (according to our own research) that only about one-quarter of first responder always or often follow a weekly exercise program?

Some people have found how to get through challenging times by pushing themselves to work out. When you exercise, you have an opportunity to zone out, or have something else to focus on so you can take your mind off difficulties.  So aside from the physical benefits of exercise, there are mental benefits as well.

You don’t have to be an athlete or spend a lot of time in the gym in order to exercise.  Perhaps a morning run, or setting a goal for a certain minimum number of steps you will get in is something that could become part of your routine.  Maybe you can join an exercise class that meets a couple of times a week, or take dance lessons, or commit to practice one of the martial arts.  The obvious point here is that doing something is better than doing nothing.  And our research has revealed that 24% of first responders do not follow any type of weekly exercise plan at all!

Starting today, make room in your life for exercise. It can help to bring balance so you can live a better quality life. And you will likely find that your circumstances seem to improve when you make time for taking care of your mind and body.

Self-Reflection Questions:

  1. What options exist for me to exercise – something I believe I can stick with?
  2. How does long-term exercise help in relieving stress?
  3. Are there other activities can I participate in to balance my life and manage stress?

If you’d like to speak to one of our peer support specialists about how to manage the stress of work or life in general, feel free to reach out to us at and someone will be happy to chat with you.  If you are in crisis, please text the keyword BADGE to the National Crisis Text Line where you can be connected to a trained crisis counselor, 24/7/365.  Always free.  Always confidential.


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