Exercise And Stress Reduction
I know that "exercise"
may not be the most exciting word in your vocabulary, but it sure is a
word associated with a lot of benefits. Participating in a
daily exercise program will not only make you healthier in general, but it can also lower the negative effect of stress on your body as well.
By Donovan Baldwin
Let's talk about exercise and stress management.
A Link Between Exercise and Stress Reduction?
Think about all the times you have heard someone say something like,
"the doctor says it's stress related". This happened to me
several years ago, and I bet it has happened to you or someone you
know. Normally we will just laugh it off, concluding that
doctors say that when they don't know the real answers or
diagnosis. However, from personal experience, I know
better. The truth of the matter is that too much stress can
play a role in many conditions and diseases.
Stress has been shown capable of disturbing the body's natural internal balance. This leads to physical symptoms, including headaches, upset stomach, increased blood pressure, chest pains, sexual dysfunction, and difficulty falling asleep, or poor sleep quality, just to name a few.
Emotional problems can be the result of stress as well. These problems
can include depression, panic attacks, or other forms of anxiety and
worry. Even more chilling is the fact that current research indicates
that stress also can evoke or worsen certain symptoms or diseases.
Stress has been linked to six of the leading causes of death.
These inlcude heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents,
cirrhosis of the liver, and even suicide.
Exercise has been shown to relieve stress.
Even if exercise and stress reduction were not linked, exercise can increase the effectiveness of your immune system and and combat many of
the conditions outlined above. Exercise, or activity, is the key word here. Bending, stretching, reaching and walking are
all components of exercise which can help relieve stress and combat the effects of stress. There is really no need to buy expensive
equipment or hire a personal trainer, either, as you can easily insert more movement into your daily routine and reap the benefits.
Ways exercise and stress reduction can be introduced.
If you like aerobic exercise (cardio), you should grab a partner and
have a blast, Dancing with the Oldies, with one of the basic aerobic videos by Richard Simmons or
others. Or, you could simply go out for a brisk walk and
enjoy spending time together. Walking really is the best
overall exercise you can do for your health. As long as you
have a good pair of walking shoes, you'll be fine with a few minutes of
brisk walking four to six times a week.
As you go through your daily activities, make it a point to walk a
little farther than you normally are accustomed to. Bend down
and pick something up without using a pick up stick or moving the item
towards you with your foot. While you are sitting, you could
also do some simple and quick stretches for your neck and shoulders.
A simple tension buster is simply to raise your shoulders up towards your head and let them drop several times.
If you enjoy sitting around watching television during the day or in
the evening, you might want to think about buying a jogging
board. These padded boards will make running, jumping, or
walking in place less stressful on your knees and joints.
They are also easy to store and are portable as well. Even
without any equipment, however, the humble walk is still a great deal
and is better for you than sitting in front of the TV.
Many feel that jogging boards are the best pieces of equipment you can
buy. I have to admit, they are also far cheaper than bulky
treadmills and stationary bikes, but all will be great if you are
thinking about exercise and stress reduction.
Walking is an Excellent Exercise for Stress Reduction
If you want a somewhat formal exercise program, there are several
different exercises that you can do to help you eliminate the stress in
your life. Of these, walking is by far the best, as you can
easily lose yourself and your troubles by walking. Even if it
is just around the block, walking can do wonders for your health as
well as stress. Studies have shown that a long, brisk walk
can have many of the same health effects as regular meditation...which
is an excellent way to relieve stress without exercise.
If you, like so many others today, have a lot of stress in your life,
you may want to consider joining a gym. Working out and then
sitting in the sauna is a good way to relieve tension. If
your gym has a pool, you may find swimming to be very beneficial as
well, as it really helps you to relax.
Exercise and stress reduction go hand in hand. Give it a
try. You'll be pleasantly surprised at the results.
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