Now that the holidays are over, the stress in your life is gone and you have lots of time to devote to exercise. What do you mean, “Not really.”?
There is always going to be a certain amount of stress in your life. Some of the things that come your way are neither predictable or preventable. You may not actually be able to do anything to change these events but you have total control over your response to them and its effect on your body. By combating stress, you allow your body to restore and balance the delicate systems that lie within.
Your coping mechanisms work better if you’re not overly tired and have eaten properly so it’s important to keep to a regular sleep schedule and eating pattern. And don’t forget exercise! Physical activity also helps you combat stress. Anything you enjoy, whether it’s aerobic or strength training, will act as a stress-buster. Make exercise part of your stress management plan.
Your body releases endorphins, your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, as a result of physical activity. You don’t have to be a runner, any heart-pumping exercise will work.
Regular exercise lowers the symptoms related to mild depression and anxiety while increasing your overall health and your sense of well-being. Sleep can be improved with routine exercise. Stress, depression and anxiety often disrupt sleep but easing the stress levels can put you back in command.
Your mind responds to meditation in motion! Try it—after an hour of Zumba or Yoga, you will have forgotten what irritated you during the day. Repetitive motions that command your concentration keep you focused on a single movement and can help you remain calm and collected in everyday tasks. Who couldn’t use a little more energy and optimism?
- Start by making a plan and take it slow. The gyms are full of people who burn out before January is over. This is a life-long habit you are building, not a 30-day program.
- Set realistic goals (think back to Chapter 1 WMU™ ) and find a friend who enjoys the same activities to join you. You are more likely to stick with it if someone is waiting for you.
- Try something new. Check out our fitness classes or consider personal training.
- Put it on your schedule. 45-60 minutes, three days a week, you spend more time than that on Facebook.
You deserve to be happy, healthy & strong this year – and you can make it happen!