Even though exercise may not be the most exciting word in your vocabulary, it sure is a word with a lot of benefits. Participating in daily exercise will not only make you healthier in general, but it can also diminish the effects of stress on your body as well.
Think about all the times you have heard someone say “the doctor says it’s stress related”. Normally people will laugh it off, concluding that doctors say that when they don’t know the real answer or diagnosis. The truth of the matter is that too much stress will play a role in many diseases such as depression or anxiety, gastrointestinal conditions, insomnia, heartburn or nausea and so much more.
To help improve your immune system, as well as decrease your stress level, try exercise, movement being the key. As you implement more movement, like bending, stretching, reaching, and walking into your daily routine, you can reap the benefits. There’s really no need to buy any expensive equipment either; tools such as dumbbells, continuous bands, a small gym bag with sand as adjustable weights, or a stability ball are very inexpensive. Thrift stores are great for finding equipment too. Use your imagination.
If you like music, dancing is wonderful exercise; you could even grab a partner and have a blast while burning calories. Or, you can simply go out for a walk and enjoy spending time together. As you may have heard, 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. I wouldn’t recommend high heels for any distance ;).
You’ve heard it before, as you go through your daily activities, make it a point to walk a little more by parking farther away, take the stairs when they are available, and stand at your desk when you can. While you are sitting for any period of time, you should also make a habit of doing some simple and quick stretches for your neck and shoulders.
Even if you enjoy watching television, you should consider getting up and do short bouts of exercise to get your heart rate up during commercial breaks. You can walk or run in place, do standing lunges, do tricep dips off the couch, do jumping jacks, push ups, mountain climbers, and the list can go on. Pick 3 or 4 and see how many you can do before the program comes back on, and then see if you can beat it during the next commercial break.
Make room for ME Time
Rejuvenate yourself. Fall is a great time to rejuvenate the body, mind and spirit. You can do that by getting a massage after your week, learn to meditate, or take an art class. Treat yourself to other activities that promote wellness, so you can feel good physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
Find some activities for Me Time, apple picking, walking, hiking, and cycling. Take a longer route when you walk your dog. Walking can do wonders for your health as well as stress. Go to the library so you can curl up with a good book. There are several different things that you can do to help you eliminate the stress in your life. Whatever it is that relaxes you is something you need to make time for. Whatever you do, just find something that works for you.
Make a stress management plan
- Recognize and acknowledge that stress affects everyone. How people react to stress is what varies but no one is immune.
- Be aware of your physical and emotional reactions to stress. For example, do you get angry, withdraw, or overeat?
- Develop positive strategies to counter your initial reactions. For example, counting to 10 or taking deep breaths will give you a chance to respond rather than react to any situation.
- Decide to make positive changes. Change how you talk to yourself. For example, I will speak up for myself, I will put myself first more often, I will keep my voice in check.
- Tackle your issues. Pick one issue or bad habit at a time and work on changing it. Once you’ve replaced one bad habit, start another.
- Set goals and write them down. Keeping the goal in your head isn’t going to give you a clear view of where you are going in managing stress. Always review your goal and celebrate your successes. I am learning this and it makes all the difference in the world.
The most important thing to remember is that developing any type of plan takes time. Initially, you may find it difficult and you may experience setbacks. Keep working at it and the changes you are making will become second nature.
Not sure where to begin? I can help you figure out where to start and I will help you create a plan specifically for you. Send me a message, I would be happy to help.