Exercise And Stress
"Stress is when you wake up screaming and you realize you haven't fallen asleep yet."
Kim rolled over and reached for alarm that rang much too early. It was a restless night's sleep as usual and the pain in her neck reminds her that today is going to be another long day at a job that used to give her joy.
She reaches for her favorite black skirt but sighs and throws it back in the closet.It doesn't fit like it used to. Depressed, she doesn't know what to wear anymore. She feels bloated and fat. Most mornings she can go to the bathroom and count on her morning "meditation" to feel better but lately even her monthly cycle has been off.
Kim opens the bedroom door and sneaks a peak at her husband; she hasn't been able to be intimate with him in weeks even though she loves him very much. She realizes that she is not interested in many of the things that she used to enjoy. She just seems to be spending most of her time irritable and tired. It doesn't help that her hair is frazzled and at 32 she keeps getting visits from the acne fairy.
Kim is like a lot of women these days, overworked, stressed out and fighting depression. She hates the thought of seeing the doctor and taking medications but she doesn't know what else to try. Kim is not alone. 90 percent of all visits to the doctor are for stress related disorders.
Does Kim's situation sound familiar? One of the most common problems I hear from clients is that they felt fatigued, anxious or depressed. And they often have trouble sleeping, even though they are exhausted.
Most of them share a common underlying theme, adrenal burnout. It's the result of racing through life with a constantly aroused sympathetic "fight or flight" nervous system.
In the heightened nervous state of adrenal burnout, the body overproduces adrenaline, Cortisol and other stress hormones. Eventually, this causes the adrenal glands, the front line in the stress reaction, to show wear and tear and become depleted. This frequently leads to impairment in the thyroid gland, which can cause a further decline in energy level and mood. This is one of the reasons why so many women have thyroid glands that don't work well.
The first step for Kim and women like her is to exercise. Taking personal time for you in of itself is a great stress reducer but when that time involves exercise the benefit is two fold. Simply going from out of shape to fit reduces stress levels by increasing a sense of well being and self confidence.
Feeling confused and overwhelmed is a common stress symptom and through exercise the blood flow to your brain is improved, bringing additional sugars and oxygen and a sense of wellbeing. This increased blood flow also brings the precious endorphin. The post workout endorphins are chemicals secreted by the body after intense exercise and they make you feel great. They are a legal and healthy "high", a gift from Mother Nature.
How to exercise to reduce stress is a common question that is easy to answer. The required amount of exercise time required to decrease your stress level is minimal. If you want to only apply moderate intensity to your exercise regime, then 30 minutes of walking or other exercise 5 times a week works perfectly. For those that like to exercise more intensely(getting your heart rate to 70% or more of your max heart rate), 20-30 minutes 3 times a week will do wonders for you.
When starting your stress reduction exercise program make sure you include all three kinds of fitness.
The first kind of fitness is flexibility. Tying in with your stress reduction theme, if you combine a tai chi or yoga type program, not only will you gain flexibility but you will also reap benefits from the meditative and calmness aspects of these disciplines. Taking as little as 10 minutes from your day to focus on your breathing and flexibility will help shift your attention from a stressful situation to your body, allowing you to cope more effectively with any situation.
Short, rapid breathing is usually associated with stress, so the objective is to deliver as much oxygen to the body as possible and just relax.
The second kind of fitness is cardiovascular work or aerobics. Doing your cardio will not only burn fat and reduce the health risks associated with the mid-line bulge but also increase your blood flow and vitality.
The third kind of fitness is muscular work or weight lifting. Many women use weight lifting to "work out" their stress and leave their problems in a pool of "glow" on the gym floor. Lifting weights changes your shape, releases endorphins and increases your confidence in many aspects of life. Weight lifting if kept under an hour has a very positive effect on your hormone levels. It increases the fat burning ones and decreases the catabolic hormones like Cortisol and DHEA. These hormones when released repeatedly over time can cause several problems including depression and cardiovascular disease.
Getting Exercise In
If you just can't find time for a structured program, then your stress is probably caused by doing too much! Here are some quick ways to beat stress during the day:
Walk to work. Some might say that this will involve an extra hour a day to your schedule.I say "So what? Why are you in such a hurry?" If you do live far away, then just park the car a half mile away. You can also get off the bus before your stop and walk the rest of the way.
At the mall, park your car far away. Not only will you get some exercise but you won't get dings in your paint job.
Use your bike to get around. If the last time you were on a bike was when you were a kid then you forget how much fun it can be!
Take the stairs instead of the escalator. When I went to Las Vegas there would be a line up in front of every escalator, and not a soul on the stairs. It's crazy that some people would wait two minutes to glide up these escalators when they could be up there in 10 seconds and get some exercise.
The bottom line is that stress comes from feeling out of control. Only you can regain that control and taking care of yourself. Exercise is the first step.
Ray Burton is a personal trainer and owner of the exercise fitness site He has trained for Golds Gym, World Health Club and the Canadian Military. Ray enjoys helping people live better lives through his Fat To Fit email course and his ebook "Fat To Fit"
Debunking the Myth of Spot Reduction
Do you ever wonder how to shrink the fat on your thighs or reduce the flab on the back of your arms? Ever wake and up and dream about wearing your favorite pants from the glory days of college? Well, short of plastic surgery, there is no way to simply eliminate certain problem areas.
Dangerous Shoulder Exercises
Have you ever suffered from shoulder discomfort after working out? I am referring to aching or sharp pain experienced in the front of the shoulder or lateral upper arm that is felt with overhead activities, reaching behind the back or even laying on the shoulder. These symptoms are often indicative of rotator cuff inflammation. This is a common problem for many people who perform resistance training on a regular basis. It is also a problem that can easily be prevented by modifying the following "dangerous shoulder exercises."
Unstable And Proud Of It! Power to the Push-Ups!
When I get finished teaching you this never-before-seen version of the push-up, you're going to think that either I'm crazy or a genius or both! Of course, the results you'll get from it will speak for themselves.
Six Simple Strategies to Turn Your Walks into Workouts
If You are already fitness walking several times a week ? great! Now its time to step it up a bit. Here are 6 ways to turn your walks into workouts. They involve adding a little creativity but with these few simple techniques you can maximize the benefits of your walk and get more of an overall body workout.
Basic Abdominal Exercises
If it's six pack abs that you're after, daily abdominal exercises are the key to reaching your goal. There are a variety of effective abdominal exercises that you can try out to find which one is best for you. Or, for maximum results, you can combine a few different abdominal exercises or alternate between your favorites.
Weight Loss, Bodybuilding, and Exercise Tips ? Keeping Your Body-fat Low: Part 2 of 10
My name is Greg Ryan. I am a fitness expert, professional bodybuilder, personal, trainer to movie stars, former employee of Kathy Smith and over 50, 000 hours of paid personal training sessions under my belt. For the last twenty years I have been able to continually make progress, stay consistent and have some fun in my quest to be in better shape. One very important technique you need to learn is how to monitor your heart rate. I have been able to keep my body fat low for years because I am efficient, not because I know it all.
Discover the Best Weight Loss Exercise Ever!
The Best Weight Loss Exercise
The Truth About Exercise and Why Its Not Always Good for You!
Exercise is often regarded as a panacea for many things..."if you want to lose weight, you must exercise"; "if you want to get those feel good endoprhins racing, take some exercise"; "if you want to help with stress, you should take up exercise".
The Abs... More Important Than You Think
What comes to your mind when I say the word "abs"? Do you think of the infomercials advertising "6 second abs" or the latest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue? Most people focus on training their abs to look thinner or sexier. But, do you realize the importance of your abs in everyday activities? Most yoga instructors do. And that's why one of the focuses of yoga is to build your core abdominal strength.
Who Else Wants To Get In Shape in 35 Minutes?
Most of the physical fitness trainers, and coaches agree thatdoing some sort of resistance training, and cardio training, setsup a good foundation for all around fitness. What most peoplelike to do is alternate days. M-W-F do resistance training and onTues-thurs-sat do aerobic training or some other variation.Nowthis is not a bad thing but it can be very time consuming and forpeople who have real busy lives it might be hard to make thiskind of commitment.
When Exercising Right Looks Wrong III (Back)
Hopefully, if you read my last article I got you thinking. Thinking about different ways to train, not necessarily using machines, but using your entire body with each exercise. We talked about the changes exercise science has brought about and the risks of continuing to train the way we currently do. Our bodies, as I alluded to, were not designed to be cramped into a one size fits all machine and forced to move in a specific pattern. That pattern unfortunately is single jointed, and those of us in the know understand that even putting food in your mouth requires 3 major and around 24 smaller joints. We need to train the same way that our body was designed to operate.
5 Essential Walking Exercise Tips
Walking exercise is one of the easiest ways to get in shape and burn fat. In fact, mile for mile, you can burn as many calories walking as you would jogging. It's also one of the best stress relieving exercises that anyone can do, regardless of fitness level.
Planning An Exercise Program
When designing an aerobic or strength training exercise program, fitness professionals, such as personal trainers and gym instructors, invariably use the F.I.T.T. principle as their starting point. The good news is that with a little bit of knowledge anyone can use this principle in designing an exercise program that will help them to become progressively fitter and stronger, and help them lose or control their weight.
Different Exercises Schedule to Combat Hypertension, Obesity, and Asthma!
Different Health Problems generally do not allow us to do traditional exercises. Above all, one type of exercise cant be effective to each group facing different challenges. But despite all these different challenges, the general rule applies to all: Extra Effort and Persistence.
How To Overcome Workout Plateaus
Humans are habitual. They strive on routine and rituals. While it's true that routine can provide a sense of ease and security, I think we'd all agree that the same old, same old can also turn to boredom. And when it comes to working out, routine can be downright toxic.
The Importance of Stretching Exercises
Muscles and connective tissues shorten over time and that results in less flexibility. If your muscles have gone some time without being used, they tend to become weaker and quite stiff. The risk of injury is greatly increased when you start to use those muscles suddenly. If you are doing regular stretching exercises to lengthen and strengthen your muscles, injury can be easily avoided.
Diet and Exercise ? Without Going to the Gym
Exercising and dieting are tasks that are very difficult for many of us, but usually just the thought of it that makes us queasy. There are some simple ways to get out and get fit, and you just might enjoy yourself too.
Weight Loss & Low Body Fat ? High Calorie Burning Techniques During Workouts!
My name is Greg Ryan. I am a fitness expert, professional bodybuilder, personal, trainer to movie stars, and former employee of Kathy Smith. For twenty years I have been able to continually make progress and keep my body fat below normal. I accredit this to being able to work smarter than most not harder.
Anywhere and Anytime Exercises
These type of Exercises generally makes your body strong and firm. No matter, you are Exercising or Muscle Building or Body Building, these exercises are quite handy and help a lot.
It seems like everyone is concerned about putting on the pounds over the annual holiday season, but what about summer vacations? We spend the greater part of the new year trying to shed the weight gained from an over-indulgence of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pies and various other sweets in order to slip into that new bikini or eliminate the gut before shedding the shirt at the beach. What happens when you reach your destination of summer frolicking? Toss your diet out the window and reward yourself with excess? Stay loyal to your eating and exercise plan? Somehow manage to find a happy medium? I was faced with these questions when I embarked on a weeklong excursion of bliss to Kona Village on the Big Island of Hawaii.
|© Athifea Distribution LLC - 2013|