Kill Two Birds With One Stone: Reduce Stress & Get in Shape
One of the best ways to reduce stress is by exercising.
At the same time, you can get in shape and perhaps even lose some weight!
One of the main ways exercise works is by increasing the endorphins in your body. Endorphins are natural opioid-like substances that your body produces, resulting in a natural high or sense of well-being.
Exercise also helps to improve your mood, and improve your sleep. This is why exercise is recommended if you are under stress.
But what if you don't like to exercise? Or perhaps you have tried to exercise in the past, but could not stick with it. Then what?
Here are some tips that can help you get started, and keep you going:
Setting a goal to exercise five days per week, when you haven't been doing any physical activity at all, is a sure way to fail. Instead, set a realistic goal to exercise one to two times per week, and increase the frequency as time goes on.
Choose Enjoyable Activities
If the thought of exercising on a treadmill or even jogging outdoors bores you, choose an activity that interests you. Here are a few examples of fun activities that can give you a good cardiovascular workout:
Play Video Games – Gone are the days of sitting in front of a TV or computer to play video games. Instead, play Wii Sports such as table tennis or anything else that gets you moving and creating a sweat. Xbox Kinect is another alternative.
Join an Adult Sports or Dance Team – Local churches often offer sports programs for adults such as floor hockey or basketball. Many cities often offer adult activity programs as well, so it's just a matter of getting your hands on a list and schedule of those activities. More and more dance studios are also offering dance classes for adults. Choose something such as hip hop or tap that will get you moving.
Do Martial Arts – Learn techniques for self-defense while increasing your flexibility, balance, strength, and cardiovascular status. If you have children, look for a program that allows you to participate with them.
Exercise With Others
Turn your exercise sessions into a social time by exercising with a friend or coworker that you like. Time can pass by much more quickly when you have someone to visit with and take your mind off the fact that you are exercising.
Another benefit to exercising with another person is that it motivates you. You have someone to be accountable to, and is relying on your presence.
If you want to reduce the stress in your life, exercise is a great way to do that. It has the added benefit of getting you in shape. By following some of the tips suggested above, you should find that starting to exercise and sticking with it becomes easier.
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