Your exercise helps during stressful times

Reggie Grovey
Contributing writer

Hello, fitness enthusiasts!

I believe most would agree that good health and fitness are important issues for each of us to maintain.  And it can be very easy to get excited about losing weight, looking better, and feeling better!  But let’s face it... making the time, finding the patience, and dedication to actually exercise and eat healthy really takes planning. Simply put, it is a learned art, takes work, and can be very stressful... especially for beginners. And then it really gets intense, when you couple that with 7-8 months of dealing with COVID, getting through the 2020 elections, and all while handling the family and work-related stresses already in our lives.   Well my friends, I believe now is a great time to focus on dealing with the complex subject of stress and discussing effective ways of dealing with it.

The first thing to understand about managing stress is that no one is immune, everyone feels it, no matter the age. It is the tension you feel when you find yourself in a new, unpleasant, or threatening situation. Stress is an automatic response that causes your body to prepare to “fight” off a threat, or to flee from it. When a person is under stress adrenaline rushes through your body. This causes your heart to beat faster, your breathing rate to increase, your stomach to feel unsettled, pupils to dilate, your mouth to dry, and muscles to tense. Most people tolerate small amounts of stress fairly well, however, too much stress can be unhealthy, and cause many problems, especially when combined with destructive lifestyle habits.

So, when dealing with stress, our goal is to find ways to minimize our bodies reaction to this “fight” or “flight” response when faced with it. We must try to learn new responses at the first sign of trouble, so that we can decrease the body’s adrenaline surge that is at the very core of our stress. Some great options are yoga, breathing exercises, stretching, massage, and my number one recommendation, regular strength training, cardiovascular exercise, and proper nutrition. All of these concepts can be effective because they have a common goal of reducing our bodies adrenaline response to minor stress. Learning stress techniques can also be helpful for heart patients and reducing coronary events.

Exercise is so good because it is one of the best ways to drain off excess stress energy, while at the same time reducing coronary artery problems by controlling obesity. People often think of stress as coming from the job, money issues, family problems, or finding themselves feeling rushed all the time. This is very true....these are all triggers for stress, but the real issue is dealing with the negative, unhealthy response our body is going through when faced with these situations. The result of stress is that our bodies go into a state of high energy, but there is no place for that energy to go. This can be very unhealthy, and to compound the issue, unfortunately, we can stay in this heightened state for hours at a time.

Exercise is the most logical way to dispose of the excess energy we have that comes from stress. Think about it, the next time you are pacing around, or are moving your legs for no reason, or are tapping your fingers. Many times, this is a way we try to get rid of the stressful energy that is in our bodies. I truly believe it is much better option to channel this nervous energy, into a program of daily regular exercise, that drains stress effectively and helps your body respond less severely when faced with it each day.

I’ll leave you with a few more lifestyle changes that may be helpful.  Decrease caffeine intake, maintain healthy fluids and water consumption,  balance your diet, decrease consumption of junk food, get more sleep, don’t overextend yourself, and think positively!

Until next week please make it a healthy and nutritious day! To get started on weight loss and healthy nutrition products stop by Reggie’s Personal Training, 104 E. Main, Downtown Shawnee, or call Reggie @ (405) 613-0237. Contact Reggie on Facebook @ Reggie’s Personal Training and Nutrition. Ask about the 24-day challenge nutrition product bundle that jumpstarts weight loss, gives you more energy, tones you up, and improves your health!

Reggie Grovey is a local 21-year fitness professional and nationally certified personal trainer and Advocare Nutrition independent distributor.