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Stress Buster--Exercise!

Stress.  It affects all of us.  It might be work.  It might be your finances.  It might be traffic.  It happens every day, every hour.  Think about what causes you stress.  Now think about what you do to manage your stress on a daily basis.  I spend a good part of my day talking to my patients about stress management.  One of those stress busters is exercise.



Low intensity exercise is a great stress reliever.  This could be a stroll around the block, stretching, Yoga, Tai Chi, a casual bike ride in your neighborhood, or a walk out in the foothills.  It doesn’t need to raise your heart rate or even make you sweat to relieve stress.  It’s the simple act of moving your body, allowing stress to leave, and your mind to stop being occupied by your problems.


High intensity exercise is not for everyone.  High intensity exercise gets your heart rate up, your breathing speeds up, and people generally sweat a lot.  It can have great benefits to your stress management, as well as your heart and lungs, but it can be hard on your joints.


Many of you are aware that in the last few years, I’ve developed a love of Tae Kwon Do.  I’m currently a 2nd degree brown belt.  Pretty cool, right?  But here’s the thing—it completely kills my stress.  Last week, I was frustrated with some things that were beyond my control.  You know, issues with suppliers, an increase in home stress, and just those things that I really can’t do anything about.  So I went to a Tae Kwon Do class.  I kicked, I punched, I jumped, I sweated, I broke some boards.  And afterwards, I felt really good.  The nagging tension headache that annoyed me all afternoon was gone.  The tight muscles in my neck and shoulders were relaxed.  I felt like, “Yeah, I can kick some bootie in class and I’ll take care of that supplier at work tomorrow.”



I’m not saying that everyone should rush out and start martial arts (but look into it if you’re interested!).  What I am saying is that exercise is a major stress reliever that is all too often overlooked when we’re stressed.  We think we don’t have the time.  We think we don’t have the energy.  We come up with all kinds of excuses.  Start small—say five minutes.  But just start.  And you’ll find that you also feel better, more relaxed, and less stressed afterwards.


What physical activity do you like to relieve stress?



Posted by Karole Beck at 6/12/2017 10:53:00 AM
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