Many forms of exercise reduce stress directly, and by preventing bodily illness, exercise has extra benefits for the mind. Regular physical activity will lower your blood pressure, improve your cholesterol, and reduce your blood sugar. Exercise cuts the risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, colon and breast cancers, osteoporosis and fractures, obesity, depression, and even dementia (memory loss). Exercise slows the aging process, increases energy, and prolongs life.
Except during illness, you should exercise nearly every day at least 30 to 40 minutes of moderate exercise such as walking or 15 to 20 minutes of vigorous exercise. More is even better, but the first steps provide the most benefit. Aim to walk at least two km’s a day, or do the equivalent amount of another activity. You can do it all at once or in 10- to 15-minute chunks if that fits your schedule better. Strength training and stretching should be done at least two to three times a week, this will provide you with an excellent, balanced program for health and stress reduction. And if you need more help with stress, consider autoregulation exercises involving deep breathing or muscular relaxation.
To reduce that “stressed” feeling why not try these Breathing exercises
- Breathe in slowly and deeply, pushing your stomach out so that your diaphragm is put to maximal use.
- Hold your breath briefly.
- Exhale slowly, thinking “relax.”
- Repeat the entire sequence five to 10 times, concentrating on breathing deeply and slowly.
Rapid, shallow, erratic breathing is a common response to stress. Slow, deep, regular breathing is a sign of relaxation. By following the steps outlined above you can learn to control your respirations so they mimic relaxation. Try to do this twice per day in a quiet secluded spot or do it while sitting at the work desk with your eyes closed, it only takes a few minutes