Monday, March 12, 2012

Hello everyone! This is Merriam Lake here to provide you with wellness information for the week. I am the Health Promotion Facilitator at Wellness services. I am also a certified personal trainer and fitness instructor, and some of you might know me from the hospital as a Respiratory Therapist.

As I was thinking of what to talk to about today, I tried to think of something that we all have in common and I came up with stress! Some of us have periodic stress, or maybe even constant stress in our daily lives. Did you know that exercise reduces stress? I am sure that you have all heard this before, but have you ever tried to see if it helps? Have you ever felt “uptight?” This is a typical symptom of stress, along with muscle tension and tension headaches (which I frequently have). If so, exercise could be your answer for relief.

When your body gets stressed it tenses up. Exercise can help muscles use that pent up energy and is very effective in releasing muscle tension before it can result in muscle pain or spasm. A stress-related exercise can be as simple as a brisk walk outside. I mean really….have you ever returned from a walk and said, “That was horrible, I’m never doing that again?” No, you feel better!

Joining a group fitness class or a running club creates a more social atmosphere where you can get physical activity and emotional support, as well as a way to vent frustrations.

Exercise gives you a feeling of happiness by releasing endorphins into the body which give you a natural boost. Endorphins are natural painkillers that give you a feeling of happiness. Now, who couldn’t stand a dose of that? The weather is suppose to be beautiful this week so get out there and enjoy it!

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