Are You Waking Up With Stress?
Stress wakes up with you every morning. Stress follows you to work in your car, at your desk. You come home to Stress and go to bed with Stress. You hear yourself saying, "if only I could get some rest and relaxation." But how?
Amazing stress secret revealed; The World is a Busy Place. You feed the kids, walk the dog, Stress, around the block, go to work, cram in a 15 minute lunch, fight traffic going home, take Stress to soccer practice, get groceries at Stress Mart, car repairs, music lessons and then you go to sleep with Stress snuggled next to you. Stress wants to have sex and instead of feeling all warm and fuzzy, you're thinking, "I hope he's kidding". Whew, all this full and active life stuff is getting to be a little much.
There never seems to be enough time. That is, time for yourself. But now is the time to make some time because before you know it you're out of time and after that, times up!
With stress reaching epidemic proportions, emotional eating has become the fastest way to release stress and that usually means fats and sugars. With the added stressors of overwhelming work schedules and the struggling demands of daily life, Americans are carrying heavier burdens and equally excessive weight. But you need not carry the weight of the world on your back, hips, thighs or belly - with these simple stress releasing techniques, you can release stress, boost your energy and lose weight at the same time.
- 1. Breathing for Stress Release and Weight Loss:
When you are stressed, your body releases powerful hormones including the major stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol can cause you to crave sweets and other carbohydrate rich foods. Since stress can raise your blood sugar as much as a candy bar, your body will greatly benefit from quick and simple, breathing techniques that have been used for years to arrest stress which helps you avoid the urge to succumb to comfort foods. If you drive a car you have time to do this. Take a deep breath and inhale through your nose for two seconds and exhale for four seconds out your mouth. Repeat this exercise 3 times before going into work and see how you feel. Bet you do! Repeat this anytime you're alone throughout the day and again on the way home.
As we age, our muscles shorten and become tighter and the range of motion in our joints decreases. This can put a damper on busy lifestyles and even hinder day-to-day, normal activities. Chores that used to be simple, such as bringing in groceries from the car or reaching for a jar off of the top shelf, now become difficult. A regular stretching program can help lengthen your muscles, increase your flexibility and make daily living activities easier.
Everyone can learn to stretch, regardless of age, size or flexibility. You need to incorporate stretching into your daily activities. There are plenty simple stretches you can do while watching TV, on the computer, or getting ready for bed. If you are doing strength training exercises, stretch in between sets. It feels good and saves time from stretching at the end of the workout!
It does not have to involve a huge time commitment, but stretching can end up giving you huge results! Here are just a few of the benefits you can expect from a regular stretching program:
*Reduced tension in muscles
*Increased range of motion in the joints
*Better muscular coordination
*Better blood circulation
*More energy as a result of the increased circulation
Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia demonstrated how just one session of yoga can lower blood levels of the stress hormone - cortisol. "Participants cortisol levels were measured before and after they practiced yoga, then again before and after they sat quietly while reading or writing. After the yoga sessions, cortisol levels dropped. There was no drop after the resting sessions." Less cortisol means less cravings for sweets.
The thing that most people don't realize about yoga is that when you go into a simple yoga pose and hold it, you're using almost every muscle in your body. Just doing each pose for a few minutes helps your body to stay trim and your mind to stay fit. You wind up using your own body weight instead of hand weights and for the most part accomplishing the same thing, losing weight and gaining strength and stamina. Ever seen a pudgy yoga teacher? Me neither.
All these things lead to a stronger heart, stronger muscles, better blood circulation, more stamina and better sleep. Not to mention a better outlook when Stress rolls over and says, "oh honey?"
Suzanne Andrews founded Functional Fitness in 2008, the most popular fitness series for boomers and seniors broadcasting on over 159 Public Television stations throughout the US and Canada. Read Suzanne’s inspiring comeback story of how she survived a near fatal accident, From Deaths Door to Producing a National Fitness Series. Feel free to send Suzanne a message here.