Fitness & Wellness

Workout To Relieve Stress

Workout To Relieve Stress

Today’s world is filled with stress producing situations. Unfortunately, they’re nothing like the stress we were created to deal with in early times. That stress came from warring tribes attacking or wild animals. It required man to either flee or fight. The fight or flight response is a response to stress. It causes changes in the body to prepare it for battle or prepare it to run. In order to relieve stress and get your body back to normal, you have to fight or run.

An angry customer, crying baby or traffic jam doesn’t require running or fighting.

Not only is running or fighting not a solution to many of today’s stresses, it’s simply not appropriate. That means you’re left with the changes, such as increased muscle tension, increased respiration, higher blood pressure, a faster heart rate, slowing digestion and sending blood to your extremities. Higher levels of cortisol and other stress hormones go into the bloodstream to create those changes. When you workout, you’re actually working the body as hard as you would if you fought or ran, so it helps burn off stress hormones.

Exercise helps boost those feel good hormones.

When you workout, your body increases the production of hormones that make you feel good, like endorphins. These are neurotransmitters that function much like opioids, which can block pain naturally by connecting to the opioid receptors in the nervous system. That’s why people experience a runner’s high and why therapists find that exercise can help lift depression and aid in reducing anxiety.

You’ll love the changes exercise makes in your body.

While exercise has been called meditation in motion, meaning it’s a great stress buster, it also improves your overall fitness. It improves your posture and makes you look more confident. That improved posture has a positive effect on your mental attitude, too. When you look and act like you’re confident, people treat you that way and you start to feel that way. That confidence can also reduce some of the stresses in your life.

  • When you workout to reduce stress, do something you enjoy. If you dread going to the gym or running, it is just adding another stress to your world. If biking is your favorite thing to do, go ride a bike. Swim, skate or play ball. They all reduce stress.
  • Find a workout buddy. It should be someone whose company you enjoy. It boosts motivation, while making it more fun to workout.
  • You don’t have to set aside a full hour at a time to workout. If you have a crowded day, set aside ten to fifteen minutes at a time to workout at least three times. It can nip stress in the bud before it gets a foothold.
  • Always check with your health care professional first before you start any program of exercise. If you haven’t worked out in years, start slowly or work with a trainer who can create a program specifically for your fitness level.

You Need Self Control To Reach Your Goal

You Need Self Control To Reach Your Goal

When I have new clients in Totowa, NJ, the first thing I tell each client is that especially in the first few weeks and months, you need self control to reach your goal. Living a healthy lifestyle and getting into shape is tougher until it becomes a habit. Whether you’re working out regularly or eating healthy, it takes time to establish it as part of your life. That’s why finding ways to boost your self-control when you first begin is important.

Start with clearly identifying your reason for changing your lifestyle.

When you create a goal for a healthier lifestyle, you have to have a solid reason for doing it. The reason must be important to you, so doing it to please another person won’t work. Whether it’s to live longer and see your children and grandchildren grow or to feel more comfortable in your own skin, the reason should impact your life in a way you find important. Once you know why you’re going through the process, setting goals is the next step.

To keep you on the right path, the goal should be realistic and have a plan to achieve it.

Clearly identifying the goal and then breaking it down into steps that are quicker to achieve is a start. You need a way to measure your success. Measuring your success helps you see the progress you made, which helps boost your determination until eating healthy and working out become a habit. It takes self-control but you can boost it by identifying success along the way. Success breeds success and keeps you more determined.

Keep your eyes on the prize.

Whatever your ultimate goal is, find ways to keep it front and center. Some people use sticky notes and paste them on the mirror, the refrigerator and other places to remind them why they are starting a healthier lifestyle. If you find your will power dips as the day wears on, do your exercising in the morning. Negative self-talk can destroy the best plans. Keep it in check. Instead, create phrases that are positive, such as “Every day I get fitter and healthier.” Write them, say them aloud and put them in your memory to block the negative talk in your head.

  • Get adequate sleep at night. Achieving any goal and boosting self control is easier to do when you’ve had a good night’s sleep.
  • Don’t tempt yourself any more than necessary. Keep junk food out of the house and prepare healthy snacks and meals ahead of time so you’re not tempted to grab fast food or unhealthy snacks.
  • Increase your daily activity other ways, especially when you first start. Make it a point to take the stairs or park further from the store and walk further.
  • Congratulate yourself on successes and enjoy each one. Whether it’s sticking with your program one more week or shedding a pound. It’s all good and feeling good about it can help you keep your resolve.