Exercise Reduces Stress

Do you believe that exercise reduces stress? Trust me, it does!

The research says it helps and my own personal experience says it helps a lot. On the days I take my morning work I most definitely feel more energetic, less worried, emotionally calmer, and mentally clearer. To me that means less stressed. The best way for you to find out is to try it.

Unfortunately many of us cringe at the thought or say we don't have time. With a busy schedule and stress filled lifestyle, fitting an exercise program into the day can be like asking us to jump over the moon. My answer to that is "keep it simple".

Begin with a simple ten minute morning walk to start your day. Yes, just TEN MINUTES. OK, you'll have to get up a little earlier and that might mean going to bed a little earlier, but if you count time getting out the door and changing you might need an extra 15 minutes added on to your daily schedule.

Set aside any additional clothing you might need for your walk the night before so you won’t need to waste time looking for a coat or a sweater when its time to hit the road. Take you watch and time 5 minutes out (away from your house) and 5 minutes back. Walk at a brisk pace but one that is easily handled. As you walk breathe deeply and feel your whole body as you walk. Notice your feet hitting the ground, the swing of each leg as it comes forward, the swing of your arms, the fullness of your chest and the length of your spine. Be with your body as you walk. Feel it. Notice it. Breathe to it. If the weather out is anything less that a blizzard or a tornado and you are in a reasonable state of health – go for your walk regardless of the outside weather. Take an umbrella if its raining, take water and walk slowly if its hot, dress warmly if its cold. Just don’t let the weather stop you.

Do this for five days straight and then ask yourself if you noticed any difference to your stress level each day. I would be game to bet you'll feel a positive difference.

At the school my children attend they are required by the school to spend at least some time outdoors at recess time regardless of the weather. The school maintains that such a practice supports the educational as well as health goals of the curriculum. The children are more alert and focused than they would be if they remained indoors for the entire day. They also are more apt to bring their body as well as their mind to their learning experiences after their outdoor time.

Try it! And wave to me as you walk by. See if even just a little bit of exercise reduces stress.

Get Fit For Life!

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