More Stretch Less Stress

WIKI | COMMONS
Do this and you’ll be stress free.

We are all worked up with some sort of stress, whether it is from school, work or a relationship, the list goes on and on. Stress affects our immune system, our psychosocial abilities and can even affect our sexual drive. It can lead to anxiety, loss of motivation, sadness and even depression. Some people have high levels of stress; some people have low levels of stress. One thing is certain, stress is inevitable, so I will begin with this — you are not alone.So how does one deal with stress? My answer is by exercising and stretching.

A study was done at the University of South Australia in which 131 participants used yoga as a treatment to reduce stress and anxiety. Within 10 weeks, stress, anxiety and quality of life had improved. The study also found that yoga was more effective than relaxation when it comes to improving mental health.

Another study found that physical exercise reduces physiological reactivity to psychosocial stress. In other words, people who exercise were found to have less stress in social environments than those who do not exercise.

Both of these studies point to a common theme: treat your body right. That means exercising, that means stretching. Stretch when you wake up; stretch when you go to bed. Find a time to stretch. It doesn’t sound like much, but something as little as 20 minutes of stretching a day can make a big difference. Go for a walk or a jog, and take a cold shower afterward. Routine cold showers can also reduce stress and even sickness.

At the end of the day, your body is your body. I can’t control what you do with it. I challenge you to stretch at least once a day for at least 20 minutes. I challenge you to start routinely exercising. I challenge you to take a cold shower. I challenge you to conquer your stress.

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