Physical Activity is a Stress Buster
BENEFITS OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
We all know of the obvious benefits of exercising to build strong bones, joints which help to make us more agile and flexible. In more recent times we have been promoting other benefits which include physical and mental well-being. Structured regular exercise is recommended for persons of all ages and abilities.
Physical fit individuals have a lower risk of developing cardio-vascular disease, diabetes, arthritis and cancers. Physical activity is a vital prescription to aging well, being more agile, flexible and healthy. Other benefits being physical fitness include improved weight management and maintenance; healthy heart; better blood sugar control and improved mood and well-being. In addition to being physically fit you are encouraged to eat healthy, quit smoking, consume little or moderate amounts of alcohol and manage stress daily.
Persons who have serious health challenges are advised to get an assessment done by a physical therapist before engaging in physical exercise. These health challenges include:
- Heart problems.
- Asthma and other respiratory illnesses
- Severe arthritis
- Physical disability
Mentally illness such as depression and anxiety can be improved if the therapy includes physical activity.
Stress occurs when an individual has pushed beyond his or her physical ability or beyond the emotional comfort zone. Stress is a trigger for anxiety and depression. It is almost accepted when busy moms and dads declare they are feeling so stressed. It is the new norm that drives us beyond what used to be considered normal (hours of work, multi-tasking etc.) There is not enough time for relaxation and recreation. More and more persons are using recreational drugs, prescription pain medication and alcohol to cope with daily demands. There is a growing demand for Sleep Therapy and Pain Management.
STRESS BUSTERS TIPS FOR TAKING BETTER CARE OF YOURSELF
- Get 6-8 hours sleep every night
- Avoid caffeine ad alcohol before bed-time
- Minimize use of electronic gadgets before bed-time
- Sleep should be restorative and restful
Healthy well-balanced diet
- Increase servings of fruits and vegetables
- Reduce salt and sugar
- Drink more water daily at least 8 glasses
Increase physical activity
- Move a lot more, dance, swim and enjoy the outdoor
- Find an exercise routine that you love
Rest and recreation
- Engage in relaxing activities albeit for a few minutes each day
- Take annual vacation
Avoid toxic habits
- Get help to quit smoking and addictions
- Involvement in a support group is helpful
- Seek help when you are feeling down or anxious
- Talk therapy will help you to work through your issues
CHOOSE A PHYSICAL ACTIVITY THAT WORKS FOR YOU
Physical activities are varied and interesting to appeal to individuals of different ages, level of fitness and sizes. Here are some fun physical activities you can select for your fitness quest:
- Swimming, surfing, skiing
- Water exercise/aerobics
- Walking, power walking
- Tennis, basketball, volleyball
- Low impact aerobics, yoga, pilate, tai chi, qi gong
- High impact aerobics, kick boxing
- All types of dancing
Yoga hands down is a physical, mental and spiritual practice that just about anyone can engage in. It is terrific for improving flexibility and helps to improve breathing. It is best to have a yoga teacher introduce you to the practice for maximum benefits. Yoga is calming and re-energizing.