Feel Stressed? Try Exercise

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November 18, 2008

By Lynn Difley

StressIf you’re feeling stressed lately, you’re not alone. These are difficult times. Our kids, so far, are in good shape job wise, and that’s a load of worry removed, but we share with the rest of the country a wary, uncertain sense that an unnamed boogieman is lurking in the shadows, ready to do harm. Psychologists point out that it is just this that causes the most stress, not knowing what is about to happen.
We humans are good at dealing with hardship, I’m sure most of us have a few good tales to tell about overcoming adversity, but its not knowing what we have to deal with that gives us ulcers, high blood pressure, elevates our cholesterol, and wears on our immune system.
One of the best ways to deal with stress is to get involved in regular, strenuous exercise. It is the most natural outlet for the body, when the “fight or flight” response is triggered during stressful times. Aerobic exercise is the best when it comes to getting the energy out and releasing pent up feelings.

  • Regular, repetitive, large muscle movements strengthen the cardiovascular system, and increase your stamina while using that negative energy for fuel for the activity.
  • Vigorous exercise is an excellent way to relieve chronic muscle tension caused by stress.
  • Exercise will improve the metabolism, relieve indigestion, and improve elimination and insomnia which can be triggered by stress.
  • Exercise is a proven emotion improver–the best prescription for depression and anxiety you can find–with no side effects.
  • Exercise helps release built up tension in the body.
  • Exercise gives you a release valve for emotional tension, producing endorphins and other “feel good” hormones, which spread through out the body providing a feeling of well-being and calm.
  • Exercise raises self-esteem and by improving your allover fitness, improves life quality and feelings of confidence.

If you are not currently using exercise to reduce your stress, why not get started today. Walking is one of the best and easiest ways to reduce stress and improve health. It doesn’t require special equipment or dues, is easy on the budget and wardrobe and is a stepping-stone to improved health and fitness. You may prefer swimming, which combines the soothing aspects of water with the cardiovascular benefits of aerobic exercise. Many people practice yoga; it offers flexibility improvements, range of motion strength and mental focus.
Whatever you prefer, just get involved, life is not meant to be a spectator sport, if you get busy moving, stretching, breathing deeply, working up a sweat, the stress factor will diminish, even disappear. Just get busy moving, repeat often, and especially when the stress levels increase. You will find that you can sail through this difficult time with calm and confidence.

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