If you’ve kept up with the news, 2020 continues to be an eventful year. As states have re-opened since the initial lockdown in the spring, the number of positive COVID-19 cases has only increased. Going to the grocery store, returning to work, or attempting a workout at the gym can become stressful experiences as we adapt to a new normal, while trying to minimize exposure to ourselves and others.
The good news it that there are conservative methods to help manage stress and anxiety. Start with these tips to help manage your health in these continuously strange times.
Exercise. The phrase, “exercise is medicine,” holds a lot of truth. Exercise is as close to a wonder drug as we get, as it helps to release endorphins and other hormones that help you feel good. The trick is to exercise at an intensity that makes you sweat, at least three days per week. It can be anything – walking, running, cycling, or interval exercise. Get out there and move!
Meditation. This can be a tough one, but regular meditation can help with stress in addition to encouraging a more positive outlook. Many studies have shown the benefits of regular meditation, including reductions in anxiety, stress, and irritability. Many smart phone apps exist now to help you learn to meditate. Headspace is one of them and is a great place to start. It provides research-based approaches to meditation.
Breathing. It sounds overly simple but taking the time to take three deep breaths triggers a response from the brainstem to “slow down,” activating the parasympathetic nervous system. Stopping to take some breaths can break you out of that “fight or flight” mode; that sense that you are constantly on alert. Take a look at our video on how to breathe from your diaphragm to get a better idea!
We know things are stressful, but here at Peak Form we want you to know we can help. If you’re not sure where to start with an exercise program, contact us today, and we can put that stress to rest!
By Laura Vroman