Friday, February 15, 2013
13 Strategies to Stay Fit During Stressful Times (8 of 13)
Sign up for a quick class -- social interaction can help combat stress too
The benefits of social support are well-documented and manifold. Because exercise and physical activity can often involve others, you can enjoy a double dose of stress-relief with the combined benefits of exercise and fun with friends. Whether you’re in a class with others, working out in the gym with a buddy, playing softball in a league or taking a walk or hike with a friend, having others work out with you can make you feel good as well as help motivate you to push harder to get a better workout without it feeling so much like ‘work’.
Have a great weekend SPARKERS!
Thursday, February 14, 2013
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY TO ALL
13 Strategies to Stay Fit During Stressful Times (7 of 13)
Use phone poles as markers for intervals.
Interval training involves repeated periods of intense physical activity (the exercise interval) alternating with periods of recovery (the relaxation interval). The relaxation interval avoids significant lactic acid build up and, as a result, allows longer training time at peak performance levels. One study (in runners) pointed out that continuous, maximal performance could be sustained for only 0.8 miles (to exhaustion) while a similar level of exertion could be maintained for a total of over 4 miles when the training session consisted of intervals.
Dial up some telephone pole sprints. When we're training alone, sprinting against imaginary opponents can be deadly dull. Next time you feel like some speed work, use telephone poles as sprint markers. After warming up, start by sprinting from one pole to the next and then spinning easily for 4 poles. Repeat 3-5 times. To vary the drill and increase the effective length of your sprint, go all out for 2 poles, spin easily for the next 4, and repeat 3 times. Of course, all telephone poles aren't the same distance apart. Use the varying spacing to simulate race conditions. After all, you never know how long you'll need to sprint. Go hard to the next pole, no matter how far it is, then spin for a minute or two to recover. Follow this with another sprint between poles. It's perfect for developing the ability to rev up in an instant and then hold your speed for the required distance.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
13 Strategies to Stay Fit During Stressful Times (6 of 13)
Work out with body weight.
Any time you move, your body is primed to release endorphins. E xercise is one of the best ways to ease stress and anxiety while
giving you a sense of confidence and mastery when other parts of your life feel out of control.
Kickboxing: If you allow stress to build up without letting off steam, you end up feeling irritated and angry enough to take it out on people who don't deserve it (even though the woman who cut you off on the freeway really did tick you off). Kickboxing is great for getting out your aggressions in a healthy way while feeling strong, powerful and in control. It also burns lots of calories and increases endurance.
Gentle Yoga: While sweating it out is great for stress, slowing down with yoga is another option simply because it combines so many stress-reduction techniques in one activity. Yoga is relaxing, like stretching workouts, but it takes you further with a focus on breathing, mind-body connection, meditating and, of course, stretching tight muscles. All you need is a few minutes and a few basic exercises.
Pilates: Pilates is like yoga in that it focuses on breathing, connecting to your body and improving how you carry yourself, making it a great choice for stress relief. Pilates also strengthens the core and the pelvic floor, which makes you stronger for other activities in your busy day. Just a few minutes with some fundamental exercises offers a distraction from daily worries and a chance to focus on your body.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
13 Strategies to Stay Fit During Stressful Times (5 of 13)
Build in daily activity.
Virtually any form of exercise, from aerobics to yoga, can act as a stress reliever. If you're not an athlete or even if you're downright out of shape, you can still make a little exercise go a long way toward stress management. Discover the connection between exercise and stress relief — and why exercise should be part of your stress management plan.
Exercise increases your overall health and your sense of well-being, which puts more pep in your step every day. But exercise also has some direct stress-busting benefits.
• It pumps up your endorphins. Physical activity helps to bump up the production of your brain's feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Although this function is often referred to as a runner's high, a rousing game of tennis or a nature hike also can contribute to this same feeling.
• It's meditation in motion. After a fast-paced game of racquetball or several laps in the pool, you'll often find that you've forgotten the day's irritations and concentrated only on your body's movements. As you begin to regularly shed your daily tensions through movement and physical activity, you may find that this focus on a single task, and the resulting energy and optimism, can help you remain calm and clear in everything that you do.
• It improves your mood. Regular exercise can increase self-confidence and lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety. Exercise also can improve your sleep, which is often disrupted by stress, depression and anxiety. All this can ease your stress levels and give you a sense of command over your body and your life.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
13 Strategies to Stay Fit During Stressful Times (4 of 13)
Fulfill your weekly goal rather than stressing about a specific day.
We all know that there will be days that are busier than others
and our schedules will change. Don’t feel bad if you miss a scheduled workout day. Just schedule to do it on your day off. It is not worth stressing over. Stress is mentally and physically fatiguing. Your results are based on a weekly basis. What you do daily physically and mentally is on a weekly basis. If you mess up one day or one meal, remember that the next day is a new day.
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