As we all face the current health concerns, social distancing, distance learning and working from home, feeling stressful is inevitable. We all know that physical exercise is an essential part of maintaining good health, it’s also a great way to improve mental health and is a natural stress buster.
Getting in a workout helps release tension in the body and mind, and it gets those feel-good endorphins pumping through your body which is a great way to manage stress, anxiety, and more importantly, maintain your immune system to help fight off germs.
EXERCISE IS GOOD FOR STRESS AND ANXIETY
When we’re feeling stressed out, a good workout has many benefits. The release of endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that function as natural painkillers, immediately boost your mood and not only that, they also help you sleep better! A good night’s sleep will also reduce stress and improve anxiety. Exercise will energize and refresh your body, leaving you feeling great during your workout and afterward. Feeling better all-around will help to reduce the physiological and psychological symptoms of anxiety.
Anxiety can quickly consume your thoughts and without intervention, can lead to panic attacks. Engaging in physical activity that you find both challenging and enjoyable is a great way to get distracted from obsessive, harmful thinking. You’re burning the anxiety away!
While your body is working, your mind gets a rest as you focus on something else besides what worrying about other things. This is so true with Pilates. While you’re doing a Pilates workout, your brain is focused on your body’s position and breathing.
Here are some tips:
When you feel stressed and overwhelmed taking some quiet time is crucial. Find a quiet space, sit comfortably, close your eyes, focus on your breath, inhale for 7 seconds through your nose, hold it for 4 seconds, and exhale through your mouth for 7 seconds. The surge of oxygen helps relax the mental strain and slows your heart rate.
Start with a stretch routine that includes a combination of Pilates, yoga and a few bodyweight exercises. Just 10 minutes can help you de-stressed, clear your mind and keep you balanced.
Grab your mat and do some Pilates Mat work at home. Create a positive environment that makes it easy to exercise. Mentally plan to do a workout every day, go for a run or walk, listen to your favorite music, do 20 crunches or pushups, do a couple planks for 1 minute each, grab your bicycle, find a yoga or Pilates class on YouTube, your TV or DVD, do a weight training circuit, do 100 jumping jacks, end with lunges for 10 seconds on each side.
Avoid sugar and flour, eat high protein, good carbs, and fats, and drink lots of water.
Be sure to get plenty of sleep at night and rest during the day. A run-down body is more susceptible to infections.
Ask for support!
Social distancing can make us feel stressed and isolated so reach out for support. We’re all here to support each other.