There are two kinds of stress. It’s important to know how to combat bad stress with good stress. Good stress, like exercise done properly, will in the end make you feel better. Bad stress, like frustration, makes you feel lousy and it’s what you need to stay away from.
Heart pumping exercise is a great example of good stress. It helps relieve the fight or flight hormones that our body produces and then dumps into our systems when we do get stressed and aren’t able to utilize that energy. Another good benefit of this kind of exercise is sweating, or if you prefer…glowing. Whether its dancing around your living room, walking/running, playing your favorite sport, or using a piece of cardio equipment, it all counts.
Resistance training is another good tool to use. Being stronger really helps in fighting bad stress.
Flexibility training helps to calm both the body and the mind. No time for an hour and half class, how about five minutes? A few standing stretches while waiting for your breakfast to cook or at night, before climbing into bed, is a great idea. The body does respond well to small and gentle amounts of stretching – especially as we age.
Ball/foam rolling, although painful, which in itself is stressful, does help to break up your fascia so that you can get to the muscles to relax both you and them.
Not so interested in formal exercise? No problem. There are plenty of activities out there to choose from. Find a few and go for it.
The next time you feel stressed, push yourself away from whatever it is that is making you anxious and turn towards some form of activity. You’ll feel much better.
As a last point, remember to recognize that stress exists, and sometimes it’s more of a problem then we readily admit. One must work, all the time, on reducing the bad stress. Now, take a fit break. Remember…breathe.