Today I Learn… I make a point of learning something new everyday. This is what I learn each day

1, Dec 19, 2013

Get moving, reducing stress, for body and mind

Filed under: Exercise — admin @ 10:53 pm

A few weeks ago, I read this article “To calm body and mind, get moving.” Too bad I forgot and have not saved where I read it, though I saved part of it.

“A burst of physical activity after the stress response is triggered — let’s say by sprinting away from an oncoming bus — burns off stress hormones just as nature intended.

But you don’t need an imminent physical threat to use exercise as a way to take the edge off every day stress. Just about any form of motion helps relieve pent-up muscle tension. And certain activities, such as yoga, tai chi, and qigong, and rhythmic, repetitive exercise, such as walking, running, swimming, bicycling, and rowing, elicit the relaxation response, too. All of these things are especially helpful if you do them regularly.

To boost the stress-relief rewards that come from being physically active, it helps to increase your awareness — what and how you’re feeling, your environment, etc. — during exercise. This small shift in focus can leave you feeling calmer and more centered.

This approach is as effective during strength training as it is when you’re on a nature walk. As you lift and plant each foot, or as you raise and lower the weights, coordinate your breathing with your movements, keeping mindful attention on the sensations in your body.

Once you get under way, become aware of how your breathing complements the activity. Breathe rhythmically. If you have a focus word, phrase, or prayer that you use when meditating, use that word now as you breathe. When disruptive thoughts intrude, gently turn your mind away from them and focus on moving and breathing.”

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