Tag Archives: stress

What Should We Know About the Simple Exercise of Walking?

Walking. Such a simple thing that many of don’t give much serious thought to for days, weeks or even longer. However, many experts agree that walking is probably the most underrated form of exercise that benefits both our physical and mental health.

The number of studies that speak to both specific and general benefits could not easily be counted.

So, what should we know about walking?

Harvard Medical School put out a special report called “Walking for Health” that states simply walking may do more to combat health conditions and fight diseases than any thing else. As an example, walking 22 minutes a day (or two and a half hours a week) could reduce your risk of heart disease by 30%–yes, by nearly a third.

In the journal Neurology, a 2010 study suggests that there is a link between greater amounts of gray matter in the brain and walking. Further research from a University of Virginia study showed that simply walking decreased the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia in elderly men.

Other benefits include the reduction of anxiety and stress and enhances our moods, and all it takes is a few minutes of walking. Many studies of shown that walking in nature is additionally beneficial.

Walking strengthens our muscles as well as our bones and joints. One’s legs and abdominal muscles get a workout and if you are conscious to move your arms or use trekking poles your arms do to. As it is a weight-bearing activity it is good for the bones. Walking also brings oxygen and nutrients into your joint cartilage which is of extra benefit as it has no direct blood supply.

So, the next time you are feeling too mentally or physical exhausted to exercise, consider taking a short walk. The benefits may surprise you!


When is Stress a Sign of Something More?

While stress is a normal and everyday experience for most people too much stress could be a sign of a deeper mental health issue.

It is a normal human response to any strain, emotional of physical, on the person.

Experts even agree that acute stress (that which arises during a specific moment for a short amount of time) can be helpful in navigating the situation. Physical symptoms include increased heart rate in the moment.

Chronic stress occurs after the body’s system is triggered repeatedly.

Stress isn’t bad but sustained chronic stress (stress experienced for long periods of time after the situation is over) can be mentally and physically damaging.

It can be hard to tell when stress is becoming something more—like anxiety or depression. If the worry is intrusive after the stressor is over that could be anxiety. If one can’t move beyond sadness is a continuous mood and one can’t move beyond the situation that could be depression.

However, if one is able to resolve their negative emotions soon after the incident that caused the stress, it is probably just that, stress. Discussing one’s extended stress with their physician or a licensed mental health professional is the best way to determine if one has an issue beyond everyday stress.





Delicious, Stress Reducing Snacks and Meals

For one reason or another it is probably a good bet that any given American is probably still feeling extra stress. Here are some foods that provide nutrients to help reduce that stress. Not only that, enjoy one of these meals in your ideal conditions during an hour or so dinner with your family or partner could add to that stress reduction. Take some time away and enjoy a delicious meal with someone you love. Or take a meditative moment to yourself and concentrate on flavors of new snack or lunch.

Potato chips and other crunchy snacks can be replaced with apple slices. The satisfying crunch can release stress.

A paella of clams and mussels is a major such of B-12 which will even your mood.

A desert of fresh sliced kiwi dipped in dark chocolate would further improve one’s mood with a boost of vitamin C.

Grilled salmon can be a great source for your omega-3 fatty acids, which are well known to reduce stress.

Green peas in an omelet can turn your favorite egg dish into serotonin production booster.

Yogurt’s probiotics can help reduce levels of cortisol. Add berries for vitamin C

Matcha tea in particular contains the relaxing theanine.




Simple Stress Reduction Techniques

One thing you can do to reduce stress is exercise. Scientist think that this will increase blood circulation to the brain, especially areas like the amygdala and hippocampus. These regulate motivation, mood and response to stress. One thing exercise will do is release the body’s so-called feel-good hormones. Scientists have found that it only takes exercise intensity of a moderate level to reduce depression.

Some scientists believe that high impact interval exercise can actually increase stress and inflammation. This is especially true for those who are not used to exercise.
Exercise will also improve your sleep quality which is another thing you can do to relieve stress.

But it isn’t just sleeping more. You are giving your body time to go through enough cycles of sleep to repair itself.

To promote this develop a routine. One wants to teach the body and brain to calm down and get ready for bed about an hour before bedtime. Turn off your devices and TV. A warm bath or shower, reading, listening to relaxing music, meditation, light stretches are all activities that can signal your brain its almost time for sleep. Experts even say you should keep a weekend schedule as well.

Something as simple as taking deep, slow breaths can do amazing things to our brain and therefore our stress, experts said.

Taking deep breaths can do great things for our brain and therefor our stress, scientists say. Learning breathwork gives you the ability to control your own brain to an extent.
When you are able to psychologically calm yourself, you change your brainwaves. Deep breathing realigns the sympathetic system, the source of stress in the body.

These are just a few things you can do to keep yourself stress free that don’t cost you any money and that you can start working on today.

Food that help keep you fit

Jody Victor found an aricle from ABC News that tells us about some foods to help get us in shape. Here is their list:

Beet juice: aids in stamina. They state that research shows it may be more effective than caffeine.
Honey: help with endurance. Consuming honey before exercise acts like a “time-released” fuel keeping sugar and insulin levels steady longer.
Pea protein: delays muscle fatigue. You can this in powder form. Since it’s rich in amino acids it can delay fatigue during exercise.
Blueberries: reduces inflammation. When fresh blueberries aren’t available, you can use dried or freeze-dried berries.
Tart cherries: fight pain and regain strength. In a test, it was found that drinking 12 oz of tart cherry juice twice a day helped them gain strength. Frozen, dried, or juice options.
Salmon: to build muscle. Omega-3 fatty acids may also be a muscle booster. Try to include wild salmon in meals a few times a week, or even salmon jerky.
Watermelon: reduces muscle soreness. It was found that watermelon juice helped relieve muscle soreness when drinking about 16oz an hour before exercise. ‘
Pomegranate: muscle strength recovery. It was found by researchers that it helps improve muscle recovery. About 4 ounces of juice was enough to help improve muscle soreness/weakness.
Coffee: for next-day energy. It helps replenish glycogen more rapidly after exercise.
Watercress: reduce DNA damage. It counters the “wear and tear” of exercise. 3 oz. of fresh watercress was enough.
Dark chocolate: curb exercise-induced stress. In a study, the men who consumed 3.5 oz. dark chocolate before 2 1/2 hours of cycling experienced higher blood anti-oxidant levels. Yum!

~ Steve Victor