Stress Busters | Get Moving Towards a Stress Less Life!

It is a proven fact that stress wreaks havoc on the body; it depresses our immune system, bogs us down leaving us feeling lethargic, and causes cortisol levels to rise which increases abdominal fat. However, exercising helps to keep us healthy and lean while increasing endorphins, which makes us feel good. Because stress is a fact of life, removing it completely is much more difficult a task than simply learning how to cope with it differently and relieving your body from feeling its effects. There are many ways to ward off the negative side effects of tension from the therapeutic and relaxing form of yoga and stretching to the intensity of boxing and total body conditioning. The key is to get your body moving and your mind in a positive state. STRETCH AWAY STRESS When tension is in our lives, our bodies tighten up and our muscles become inflexible. This tightening of the body makes it difficult for us to relax and so it is important to reverse the tension by stretching everyday. You have heard the term “loosen up”, well this is exactly what you need to do. After a 5-8 minute warm up, lengthen every muscle group by holding each stretch position for 30 seconds, as this allows for the greatest results. Stretching should become a daily practice. MIND-BODY CONNECTION So often we live in our minds; which are filled with worries, deadlines, and obligations. Yoga is a great way to move your awareness from your thoughts to your body and breath. Try upward-facing dog to help relieve stress during the day.  Lie face down with your legs stretched out behind you. Place your palms to the floor on either side of you with your elbows close to your body. Inhale and press through your hands, lifting your torso up. Exhale as you lower back to the ground. PUNCH IT OUT Sometimes the weight of the day is too much to bear. When this happens, try not to turn to temporary fixes like binge eating through a bag of potato chips; instead strap on your boxing gloves and get out all your built up stress on the punching bag! You will walk away victoriously, feeling a much lighter load on your shoulders. Try a boxing round of 30 second punches to one minute rest. About 3 minutes into this workout and you won’t be thinking about anything but catching your breath. RUNNAWAY YOUR WORRIES Running is one of the best ways to relieve your body and mind of stress. It has been proven that running can also help with depression. Running to your favorite tunes or just to the sound of nature can boost your spirits. Make sure you have good running shoes and keep a pace that allows you to form a sentence without being out of breath. A 15-minute jog/run can take away an entire day’s worth of built up tension, so lace up your sneakers! TOTAL BODY CONDITIONING When you have a day that feels too overwhelming, total body conditioning is your key to sweat away the worries. This type of training uses many muscle groups at once, requiring all of your focus to be on the exercise and not that deadline you have next week. Try a medicine ball wood chop by holding on to a 5-10lb medicine ball with your feet wide and your arms extended. In a controlled, yet fast pace drive the ball across your body from the bottom right up to the top left 12 times. Switch sides and repeat

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