Health

Get Moving to Reduce Stress

February 1, 2022
Get Moving to Reduce Stress- A woman is walking through a field of flowers

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Most people understand that a sedentary lifestyle is unhealthy. It is vital to move your body regularly. And yet, even knowing how important it is to move regularly, many still don’t get moving! I admit that for a long time I was a chronic couch potato. I did almost nothing in the form of exercise. Going to the store was the extent of my walking plan. Regular light to moderate exercise is a perfect way to reduce stress!

A sedentary lifestyle has become a very common problem in the US and around the world. According to the World Health Organization, almost one-third of all adults in the world do not get enough daily activity. In the US, 50% of women and 40% of men are not getting sufficient physical activity.

We’ve become couch potatoes

We have become a sedentary society, even though our bodies are designed to move daily. And technology has made it much easier for us to spend too much time sitting! We spend far too much time in front of large-screen televisions with remote controls. And the rest of the time we spend emersed in our computers, mp3 players, tablets, smartphones, and video games.

When I was a child we did not have the number of technological gadgets that we have today. We were physically active every day. We were outside in the backyard playing from the time we got home until we were forced to come in. Watching television was a treat (and we only really had 5 or 6 channels to choose from). We rode bikes, built forts out of sheets in the basement, roller-skated in the garage, and played tag, or hide and seek. In the winter we ice skated and went sledding and had snowball fights, made snowmen, and build snow forts. We were constantly on the move and active.

Now, not only are adults sedentary, but kids are too. And we are all paying the price for spending too much time sitting!

This lack of regular movement has caused many people to have health issues. Moving the body helps energy flow, and reduces stress. But without that regular exercise, the body can begin to experience physical and emotional symptoms, and ultimately chronic illness.

Exercise has some very important benefits that we lose when we don’t get up and move regularly

Without regular movement your body’s energy becomes stagnant and you can become sick. Here are some of the ways that moving regularly benefits your body!

Reduce stress

Instances of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and more increase in those who live sedentary lifestyles. We need that activity to keep our heart and other vital organs functioning properly. Moving regularly helps to reduce stress which contributes to these common health issues

Immune system booster

When you are physically active on a regular basis, you are less prone to getting colds, flu, and other viruses. This is due to the fact that regular exercise stimulates the lymphatic system, which is one of the body’s garbage centers. Unlike the circulatory system which is moved by our heart, the lymphatic system does not have a “pump” to get it going. Only deep breathing and aerobic exercise can move the lymphatic fluid. Viruses, bacteria, and other toxins are circulated in lymphatic fluid. If the fluid is not actively circulated so that these toxins can be flushed out, you will ultimately get sick.

Strengthening and toning muscle

Regular exercise also helps to strengthen your bones. It can also help to improve your posture and makes your body work more efficiently.

Releases feel-good chemicals in the brain

Moving regularly releases endorphins which are the feel-good chemicals of the brain. People who are moderately active (exercising 3-4 times a week for at least 30-40 minutes) are able to cope with stressful events more easily than those who are inactive. Exercise can also help those who suffer from mild depression. In other words, being active makes you feel good!

Less Clutter

When you aren’t moving your body regularly, it zaps your overall energy. It can lead to brain fog and a lack of motivation. This will begin to manifest in your home as clutter. You simply don’t have as much energy to keep your house clean and organized.

So how much should you move to keep your body going and keep yourself healthier? According to the Mayo Clinic, adults should get a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise 5 times a week.  Activities such as taking your dog for a brisk walk, going for a bike ride, swimming laps, or dancing each week can all get your body working!

So, what are the best ways to get up and move? Your best bet is to find exercises that you really enjoy. When you like what you’re doing it is a great incentive for you to participate.  Find something that resonates with you and that you feel good doing. The object is to get you off of the couch, away from the TV or the computer, and move your body. And trust me….you will reduce stress and feel better because of it!

You can get that stress moving out of your body if you choose to go out in nature and move! Being out in nature helps calm your immune system and reduces stress. This leads to a healthier, happier, stress-free you!

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