Archive for the 'Physical' Category

Need to Manage your Stress? Try Pilates!

There are many different ways that people can manage stress.  Sapolsky says that to cope with your stress there are: outlets for frustration, increase control, social support, religious affiliation, choosing the right strategy at the right time, and to finally get started!  Regular exercise such as pilates is a great way to release stress and frustration.  Pilates is a physical fitness system founded by a German man, Joseph Pilates.  This form of exercise is all about strengthening the core and using the mind to control the body and its muscles.

I am in a pilates class now in the Brock Center and it seriously is so helpful in releasing stress.  I take this class twice a week in the from 2pm-3pm.  This is the time of day usually when I’m just finishing classes really stressed out and look forward to it because I know how relaxing it is going to be.  However, even though Pilates is quite frequently confused with Yoga, I believe that Pilates is much more of a work out.  Many small exercises are done to tone and strengthen muscles, along with a series of stretches in between.  Yoga is more stretching than a conditioning routine.  Sometimes in my class at the end of our conditioning work out we lay in the dark, close our eyes, breathe, and stretch.  The instructor gives directions all in complete detail which is very relaxing because your mind and body work together to make sure that you feel every specific movement that you are going through.  For example: one specific work out is the spine stretch where you “lower one vertebrae at a time, articulating the spine.”  As you do this you breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth and when you’re finished relax.  Whenever I am go through each specific movement and motion I feel my body and muscles working, and breathing along with the exercise I feel much more relaxed, than with a regular work out.

If you are not a big gym-goer, I suggest trying pilates!  Don’t wait to do it, get started now!!  The Pilates exercise is very convenient because you can go to  without leaving your room to go to the gym.  Here is a video I found with a great Pilates work out that you should try NOW!  I promise, it’s worth it 🙂

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Healthy Sex= Less Stress

After doing some research, I found multiple ways that a healthy sex life yields positive influences for people. Sex is a form of exercise, so it shouldn’t be too suprising that it can be good for stress. Sex takes your mind of of stressful thoughts, relaxes feelings of tension, and provides a connection vital in intimate relationships. Studies show that sex is a great medicine when it comes to stress. Whether casual or marital, intercourse or any type of sexual contact, even contact as minor as hugging and kissing, can positively affect levels of stress.

Sex is a source of communication in relationships, and communication is crucial in successful relationships. Healthy sex helps lighten the burden of a cluttered or overwhelmed brain. Exercise promotes better health, so sex is beneficial for the body too, for instance; sex decreases stress which can cause a decrease in the frequency of illness. Good sex has the ability to relax you, and if you are less stressed, there is more room for happiness. Therefore a healthy sex life may put you in a generally good mood.

Here are some sources with more info:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28146086/ns/health-mental_health/

http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2010/09/20/26264/

Weightlifting: More than building muscle.

 Everyone deals with stress from a day to day basis, driving us to the edge sometimes. We are constantly searching for a way to put our stressors behind us, to be set free from what feels like chains holding us down. Many people use working out for more than a method to just get in shape, they use it as a stress reliever. Experts have agreed that one of the best ways to reduce stress is by raising endorphin levels in the brain, stimulating the pleasure centers through “rigorous exercise.” The way your mind and muscles feel after you an intense workout creates a “natural high.” Weightlifting also allows you to blow off steam and relieve tension that you have built up, while improving your self-image; which can help your fight mental and physical stress. These benefits from weightlifting can go a long way for improving one’s overall health and well-being. Weightlifting also releases two chemicals in the brain (dopamine and serotonin) which are neurotransmitters that are mainly related to depression, and act as anti-depressants. So if you are searching for a new method to try that can relieve stress, give weightlifting a try. The feeling you get after a great workout may be enough to hook you and slingshot you into a healthier lifestyle. I can personally say that weightlifting is a great stress reliever, and I would recommend working out at least 3-5 times a week, allowing a full days rest for muscle groups to recover between workouts. This means alternating leg, arm, and full body workouts to prevent  a muscle injury and the overtraining of one specific group of muscles. For example, my workout schedule is:  Full body on Monday. Tuesday Running. Arms on Wednesday. Thursday Running. Legs on Friday, allowing them to recover over the weekend.

Go for a Run, Relieve some Stress!

Going to the gym may be seem to be inconvient for some people, as college students have incredibly hectic schedules, but research supports the idea that exercise is a great stress relief. Have you ever had a bad day, and been completely stressed out over something? I know that I have had similar experiences of being very stressed out or worried about something, but after a trip to the Brock I always feel as though a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. The Mayo Clinic Staff says, “Being active can boost your feel-good endorphins and distract you from dailey worries.”  The video below is quite informative about how exactly exercise helps to relieve stress.
Dava Money, the speaker in the video, explains that if we exercise on a regular basis that we may reach homeostatis much quicker so that the chemicals become balanced much faster. Also, if we exercise we are removing toxins from our body, a process of natural cleansing. Excercise also helps to improve self esteem which helps us to deal with stress better, and allowing a better nights sleep.

Sources:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/exercise-and-stress/SR00036

Video link:



Lacrosse Stress

Through sports is one way for some one to relieve their stress, and others are going for long jogs, reading, or writing in their blog. People like me use sports to divert their stress. Personally I use lacrosse to deal with the daily stress that is put onto my body. When using sports to divert your stress you need to remember how to contain your emotions sometimes. Yesterday during lacrosse practice I had a rough day, due to pop quizzes and reciting a speech. During practice I let my emotions get the best of me and play a vital role in the game of lacrosse. When playing my teammate Joseph Liberto was carrying the ball up the field. When he was carrying the ball I released my anger and hit him with my stick as hard as I possibly could, and then hit him with my body. Thankfully Joseph was not injured in any way. After practice I apologized to Joseph as any person should do. He thankfully accepted my apology. 

Like many sports, lacrosse is a physical game, and when people become frustrated this game can turn violent. A lacrosse stick can be viewed as a weapon. From this experience I learned how to control my emotions properly.

Macons blog 2/28

Baseball has been a big part of my life since as long as i can remember. On a normal day i will have baseball, whether we have a game or just practice it can cause stress. I associate this with both acute physical stress as well as acute psychological stress. Whether im at the plate or in the field, having a ritual or routine before every pitch is thrown can help me relax. Something as simple as taking a deep breath when at the plate, or tapping my glove when in the field, are good relief exercises. I believe that positive self talk  and confidence are the best ways to counteract phsychogical stressors in baseball. Baseball is a mental game as much as it is a physical one so again its important to deal with them, and not tense up. By relaxing your muscles you allow them to be faster. Relaxed muscles also allow muscle memory to more effectively take over. The more muscle memory takes over for me the better i normally play.

“Stress Relieving Device”

I saw this “stress relief device” somewhere on campus, I can’t remember where.   I got thinking about how is it that we can relieve stress by inducing physical pain.  Pain is a stressor and shouldn’t it just increase your stress?  How is it that we can relieve mental stress through physical activities?

Yet as humans we do it all the time by going to the gym, playing sports, punching bags, stress balls, etc.  Is it that we take the mental stress and transform it into physical stress because we find physical stress less stressful or that our bodies can deal with it more efficiently?  Another possibility may be that we take “bad” mental stress and cover it up with “good” physical stress.  The second possibility makes more sense to me because the mental stress always seems to uncover itself eventually until the actual stressor is removed from the person’s life.


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