Saturday, November 1, 2008

Stress and Exercise

If you are a mom then you’ve dealt with stress at some point. The problem with stress is how to make it go away. Maybe exercise is the answer to your stress problem.

Exercise and stress are related. Exercise can reduce the amount of stress in your life. Lets take a look on how it works.

When we are under stress, the body secretes a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol has been shown to help the body store fat and not let it go. As we worry, we get bigger. Lack of sleep has the same effect. Stress busters inhibit this hormone from being secreted.

One such stress buster is exercise. Exercise keeps the body running like a well-oiled machine. Doing it daily helps our bodies to age slower than the biological clock. We look and feel younger despite our busy schedules. Moms everywhere would love that.

Exercise release endorphins. Endorphins make you feel good. The more you exercise, the more your mood will lighten. Blood pressure lowers and more oxygen reaches the brain. Some people find better solutions to their stressful situations while walking on the treadmill or using the elliptical trainer. If you can get outdoors to hike or bicycle, not only will your mood lighten, but you’ll be breathing fresh air too.

These are byproducts of exercise that are sometimes more beneficial than the reasons we were exercising in the first place. Exercise decreases incidence of depression without medication. Working out with a partner doubles the benefits. Not only do you get in shape but you can share a laugh with someone else who understands you. I am sure you can find another mom, sister, or friend to work out with you. My husband happens to be my workout partner.

Our bodies become stronger and fit. When I lost 14 lb.’s a few years ago and was able to fit into size 6 pants and in some cases size 4, not only was I ecstatic, but my stress level went down too. Here is the fun part….exercise is not limited to the gym…..Yeah! Romantic aerobics can benefit the body and combat stress. Sex releases endorphins throughout the body without having to drive across town to the gym. How fun is that?

Exercising with your kids can help everyone’s stress level. Use a walk around the neighborhood to discuss issues that are on your child’s mind. Working through his/her problem won’t leave room for you to think about yours. It may even give you a few ideas about how to deal with your own stress. Helping others does put our situations in perspective.

Confidence is a part of a healthy mind and body. When moms are confident in themselves they cope with stress better because they believe that they can. Exercise increases confidence. Health improves, disease is curtailed, and your outlook changes.

There is a connection between stress and exercise. The latter can bring down the levels of the former. Put on those sneakers and get moving girlfriend! And after you’ve worked out, take a hot shower or bath with some uplifting and refreshing soap and treat your skin to some fabulous lemongrass Sage energizing lotion.

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