Exercise for Less Stress!

Problem: Most experts agree that stress literally sucks the life out of us by super-intensifying our body’s systems. Chronic stress can cause major health problems and destroy your quality of life.

It can also shorten your life span by 10%. Obesity, depression, heart disease, stroke, and sleep disorders are all caused by stress.

Solution: Let’s change all that! Physical activity is the best way to relieve stress. Check out these five benefits of combatting stress with exercise:

  1. Burns adrenaline stores built up from stress, releases endorphins (Greek for morphine within) which block pain, and increases oxygen intake.
  2. Focuses the mind on the activity at hand instead of what happened to cause the stress.
  3. Increases physical and mental strength, allowing you to better withstand the effects of stress.
  4. Stretches and relaxes the tight muscles associated with stress.
  5. Increases oxygen to your brain (as much as 20% of the body’s supply is needed to stay sharp). *90% of all your energy comes from oxygen. It controls the way we feel and act, displaces harmful free radicals, neutralizes toxins, and destroys everything from parasites to viruses. Calories are burned almost entirely from the increased energy demands of the heart and muscles during ventilation (breathing during exercise). It also stabilizes the nervous system, calms the mind, and relieves stress by allowing us a good night’s sleep.

Could exercise be one of the most important components of our success? That’s a topic for another day—so until then, here are five tips to get your motor revving right away:

  1. Subscribe to a magazine like Men’s/Women’s Health, Muscle & Fitness, Surf, Oxygen, or any magazine that profiles healthy, fit people. It’s motivating to see what can be achieved when applying yourself.
  2. Wear a pedometer on your next walk/run to count your steps. 10,000 steps per day (about five miles) are recommended for good health.
  3. Snag a personal trainer for six sessions. Learn some new exercises to spark your workouts.
  4. Set a “purposeful” goal: one that has personal meaning to you. You’re less likely to shrug off a workout when you value your results.
  5. Try bringing a friend on your next walk/run for a bit more excitement! As a team, begin training for a race (walk/run) that’s about six weeks away! This will give you time enough to prepare but not enough time to procrastinate.

 

“The fitness lifestyle pays back priceless dividends in health and happiness.”    – Lee