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All-Natural Stress Relief: Exercise
The beneficial effects of regular exercise on physical, mental and emotional health are undeniable. Not only does exercise cause the body to release endorphins, “natural pain relievers” that promote a sense of well being, it also helps with stress management – and in today’s world, filled with deadlines and ever-increasing pressure to succeed, effective stress management is more important than ever.
Many people make the mistake of thinking they do not have time in their busy schedules for exercise – any spare time in their hectic day is devoted to “relaxation”, which usually involves watching television, reading a book or another sedentary activity, because they have little energy at the end of the day. However, while these types of activities provide physical relaxation, they do little to reduce stress and benefit mental and emotional health.
Adding exercise to your daily routine, at any intensity, can help with stress management in a number of ways. High intensity exercise such as weight training, kickboxing and martial arts, can help reduce frustration levels caused by allowing the release of negative feelings, and transforming negative thoughts into motivation to become healthier.
But, even low intensity activities can help relieve stress and promote health and well-being. Just by simply doing some light gardening or going for a short walk, this distracts your mind from negative and stressful thoughts and redirects the energy to the task at hand. Exercise also often involves socializing, whether you attend a class at the local YMCA or go for a stroll with a friend. The benefits of socializing on stress management are well documented.
Last but not least, regular exercise gives you the energy to do the activities you enjoy, promoting physical, mental and emotional well-being in a triple attack. Because you can do the activities you love, you are happy; because your body is getting the exercise it needs to produce anti-stress chemicals, you are happy; and because by exercising, you are able to release negative thoughts causing the stress to begin with, you are happy.
Another way to ensure your body has sufficient energy and mobility is to take a daily mineral supplement. Minerals are the building blocks of countless crucial physiological compounds, including enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, etc., without which the body ceases to function optimally. By adding a balanced mineral supplement to your daily health routine – which also includes regular exercise, a balanced diet and sufficient sleep – you are supplying your body with vital nutrients that as a whole, promote health and well-being and reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases. Give your body the building blocks it needs to stay mentally and physically healthy and active, and to use your body’s natural stress-relieving abilities to their fullest potential.3
Vancouver Nutritionist Sarah Holvik is the owner of nutrition consulting company Manna Health Group.
She welcomes questions at [email protected]