Have you noticed as a culture everyone seems to be overwhelmed? As I look at the lives of my clients and friends, I see a jugging act that’s about to go wrong. This year, I’ve received 4 reports of people I personally know being treated for stress and anxiety. We all know that stress has become a major problem, but what should we do?
You’ve probably heard that exercise helps to reduce stress. I recently read an article by Dr. James A. Blumenthal on reducing stress through exercise. In this trial, he tested a group of middle-aged men to record how 12 weeks of physical exercise affected the reduction of oxidative stress on the human body. Dr. Blumenthal found that the subjects who added an aerobic exercise component in their routine received a reduction in diastolic blood pressure, a reduction in resting heart rate, and were found to have an improved VO-2 Max. It was also noted that the subjects released less epinephrine, which helps to decrease stress on the cardiovascular system and help maintain a positive mood.
Aren’t these results phenomenal? This means that exercise not only helps you reduce physical stress, but it can additionally help you mange mental stress. At Pinnacle Fitness Bootcamp we make it a point to add in cardiovascular exercises and stretch training in each class for the purpose of increasing cardiovascular endurance, flexibility and stress reduction. The variety of exercise can be just as important as the exercise itself.
This brings me to my next point which is “Variety is the spice of life”. One reason why you may feel overwhelmed is because you may be stuck doing the same things for the same people. What I’m saying is you have lost “YOU”.
As we get older we tend to settle in to our family life, our jobs and the day-to-day tasks that life brings us. We become slaves to the “routine.” The routine of going to work, walking the dog and taking the kids to soccer practice can wear on you more than you may recognize. That’s why I feel changing your scenery is necessary from time to time. For most of us a trip to Fiji would be the ultimate change in scenery, but there are some less costly methods that you can check out in your own backyard.
Riding a bicycle, walking nature trails, taking a fishing trip, and picnicking at a park you haven’t visited before are all inexpensive ways that you can explore the outdoors and relieve stress.
Relieving stress can be as easy as playing Taboo with your friends. Being around my friends always help me to relieve stress. We laugh, share stories and just relax around each other. I encourage you to make friends. Friends can be people from work, your neighborhood, your church and people from other cultures. My wife and I have friends from different backgrounds and we have fun learning about their cultures and traditions.
Most of all enjoy what God as placed in your life. Take care of your body, cherish your kids, visit your family and friends and if you happen to have a spouse spend quality time with them. Life is meant to be shared, so share love and share health.
Dr. Blumenthal. Aerobic exercise reduces levels of cardiovascular and sympathoadrenal responses to mental stress … The America Journal of Cardiology, 1990