Ever felt like you’re all tied up in knots? Stress has a way of making you feel like that and in a way, you are. When you are under stress, your muscles get tense and you may feel like your head is throbbing. You want the stress to disappear, but you feel like moving will make matters even worse.
Truth be told, exercise is an excellent, natural way to relieve the harmful effects that stress has on us. Many use drugs, alcohol and eating, but these are THE worst ways to deal with stress.
Alcohol is known to be depressant, so though you may feel a bit of relief, this is temporary. When the effect of the alcohol wears off it may leave you with more stress and more problems.
Same thing with drugs. Whether they are prescription drugs or non-prescription drugs they give the same problem that alcohol does. Don’t ever think that substance abuse is the cure for anything. It’s not.
More people than are known turn to food when they are stressed out. This is called stress eating and it can be fattening. Not only that but stress eating can devlop into an eating disorder – especially when depression enters the picture. Most people who eat when they are stressed tend toward the most unhealthy foods around. Chocolate, cookies, ice cream or pizza, macaroni and cheese are examples of these. It’s like the moment you begin, the spoon takes on a life and mind of its own and just won’t quit entering your mouth. I have a better alternative, simple - close the refrigerator door and open the front door.
You may ask, “What do you mean open the front door?” Well, here’s the scoop - exercise relieves stress, plain and simple. Here are 4 easy ways to get moving and reduce your stress level:
- If you like walking or running then do that. If you’re not the type who likes either of these then do something else that involves physical exertion. You can sweep/clean your yard, wash your car, clean your windows. Anything that causes you to move but involves very little concentration is a candidate.
- Pilates is a more advanced exercise program than Yoga. It is a more vigorous activity and takes a high level of concentration to complete each move. Focusing on your Pilates movements, keeps your mind off stressful things.
- Do you have a bike that you’ve not ridden for years? It’s time to dust off your bicycle and ride. Look for quiet streets or parks with bike paths. This is an excellent exercise which also allows you to soak in and appreciate your surroundings as you travel.
- Dance to your favorite upbeat music. Dance around your living room, your house, your porch. Put on some music with a peppy beat and dance around your living room. Or change the pace and play classical music instead. Get into ballerina mode and dance to your heart’s content. Reggae, contemporary, whatever your favorite form of music is put it on and enjoy moving your body to it. It’s a fun way to get your exercise in.
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