Thursday, February 3, 2011

Feeling stressed?

Life can get pretty stressful sometimes, especially when you add trying to lose weight and exercise to the mix.  Studies have shown that stress and lack of sleep are directly correlated to an increase in abdominal fat.  While trying to lose weight, it is important to get adequate sleep (preferably 7-8 hours, nightly) and reduce stress levels.  I have listed a few of the ways that I personally like to relax and reduce stress in my own life, I also recommend these strategies to my clients who are feeling frazzled.   

Play some tunes - Before going to sleep at night, I like to lay in bed and listen to tranquil music.  I love my CD Circle of Compassion which is Native American flute music by a very talented artist, Marina Raye.  Light an aromatherapy candle in a soothing scent and relax while all your stresses melt away.

Coffee date with a girlfriend - spending time with a good friend can help to reduce stress levels.  Visiting and sharing stories helps to reinforce positive bonds with those important to you, creating a positive emotional response and reducing levels of stress.  If you don't have time to meet in person, a quick phone call or text can be a quick pick-me-up.  The best part is, you are helping to give your friend the same lift!

Rent a Comedy - Studies have demonstrated that positive endorphins are released when we laugh, so get those endorphins going by renting a funny movie.  Combine more than one stress-reducing activity by inviting some friends over to laugh with you!  

Yoga - Yoga can be a great stress reliever.  It allows you to focus on yourself and look inward while finding peace.  There are many types of yoga that fit various fitness levels and personal goals.  I have enjoyed everything from Hatha yoga to Bikram yoga.  Yoga is a great way to relieve stress and work toward your fitness goal simultaneously.

Take your dog for a walk - Getting outside and breathing fresh air will do a lot to reduce your stress levels.  You will also feel good knowing that you did something fun and healthy with your pooch.

Massage - If you can afford the cost and time, a massage is a great way to relieve stress and tension.  I particularly enjoy a nice massage when exercising vigorously (or starting a new exercise routine).  Make sure you speak up and ask for what you want, to get the most out of your massage you should have good pressure but be comfortable.  

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