Start Exercising Now!

exercise

When we’re stressed out, anxious, or depressed, I know it’s tempting to curl up into a ball, watch movies, and stay in bed. While these actions may seem like a good idea, the answer to feeling better is actually to get up and move. Exercise plays an important role in our health. When we exercise, we release endorphins, which are the chemicals that create a positive feeling in our bodies. We all have an exercise routine we love, whether it’s running, hiking, biking, walking, swimming, doing housework, practicing yoga, dancing, doing pilates, or something else, we have to stay active. By doing so, we will not only be physically fit, but we will also increase the “feel good” hormones in our body, which can assist in dealing with depression, reducing stress, alleviating anxiety, increasing self-esteem, and more.

What I love about exercise is that it really has so many positive benefits for us. In addition to making us feel happier and more relaxed, exercise is also important for keeping our hearts healthy and strong; staying active also strengthens our muscles and bones, lowers blood pressure, and exercises such as yoga help keep us flexible.

I know that the weather is colder, the days are shorter, and it probably seems like a good idea to just stay put, but trust me, you’ll feel so much better if you dedicate part of your day to getting up and moving. Even if you only have 10 minutes to go for a walk or a quick run, do it! Promise yourself that you will create a plan to stay active. If you’re exercising in the morning, it’s important to warm up first; don’t overexert yourself, especially not first thing in the morning, as this can be a shock to your system. Instead, wake up, have some water, tea, breakfast, and after you digest you can stretch and go for a walk – how great does that sound? Add your exercise routine to your calendar. Join a group exercise program and make new friends who support your healthy lifestyle and encourage you to do great things for yourself. Share your new workout plan with others so that at least one person will hold you accountable. See if you have a friend or family member who will work out with you. Whatever your next plan of action will be, I want you to not only look great, but to feel amazing as well. If you have a medical condition or an injury and cannot exercise at this moment, please try other stress reduction methods such as meditation, massage therapy, and/or hypnotherapy. If you can exercise, then get up and move! If you’re not sure whether or not you can exercise, or what the best exercise is for you, make sure you see a physician who can help you make a safe, healthy decision.

A Health Coach is a great resource to have when you’re starting a new exercise plan, want to heal yourself, and need someone who will listen to you and support you consistently. Join me for a free one hour consultation where we’ll create a health program that is perfect for you. Explore my programs and get a sense of which one of these you’d like to try first. Here’s to your health!

Breathing Exercises to Reduce Stress

PeaceandCalm

“Practicing regular, mindful breathing can be calming and energizing and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders” – Andrew Weil, M.D.

In my last post, I talked about the importance of learning how to deal with panic attacks and stress. I shared some meditation videos and explained how helpful acupuncture and meditation have been for me in relieving stress and tuning in to my body. Today I want to share some breathing exercises that have been helpful for me. Dr. Andrew Weil has many amazing breathing techniques and you can read more about them here. Dr. Andrew Weil explains bellows breath, relaxing breath, and breath counting. I highly recommend taking a minute to review each of these breaths.

I personally love relaxing breath and do it a couple of times a day. In addition to this, I am also doing the meditation to rebuild the arcline that I shared in my last post. Remember that breathing is natural and the more that we learn to use breathwork to our advantage, the faster we can de-stress. Dr. Andrew Weil states that our breath should be deeper, slower, quieter, and more regular and this has certainly helped me to calm down.

Here is a great video of Dr. Andrew Weil leading a meditation:

What are your favorite breathing exercises for relaxing? Do you have something that works well for you when you are stressed out? Please share! Also, if you’d like more help dealing with stress and anxiety, working with a Certified Health Coach is a great way to discover new tools to help you manage your stress. You are not alone. Contact me and we will get you started with your free initial consultation today!

Meditation and Other Tools to Relieve Stress and Anxiety

WomanMeditating

It’s normal to feel stressed or anxious at some point in your life. There are certain life stressers that raise our anxiety levels, such as our financial situation, finding a new job, moving, getting married, etc. While a little stress is normal, sometimes we become so stressed and anxious that our anxiety interferes with our day-to-day activities. If this sounds like something you are going through, you are not alone.

Recently, I have been more stressed out than usual. I have been relying on my usual stress-reducing techniques, but as my acupuncturist put it, my “tank is full.” As a result, I have been paying more attention to myself and making sure that I am taking the time to listen to my body, rest, and do things that are fun and enjoyable. I am thankful that I have an amazing acupuncturist who has been helpful, understanding, and an important part of my wellness journey for over 2 years (I wish I found her sooner!) and she is continuing to be soothing and reassuring now. If you have never seen an acupuncturist before, I encourage you to give acupuncture a try – what have you got to lose?I know that acupuncture has been helpful in relieving stress for me, and I am continuing to see my acupuncturist regularly. (Last time I was with my acupuncturist I told her I wished I could have acupuncture every day and she said, “come every week!” If I’m going every week, you know my tank is definitely full – and that’s okay :)).

If you have ever had an anxiety attack, you know that there are some physical symptoms that come with an attack. Because of these physical symptoms (racing heart, upset stomach, dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain, headaches, etc.) it’s easy to become convinced that you are suffering from a medical illness (and that’s okay too; anxiety attacks can be scary, but once you learn how to deal with them, they won’t be so bad). A great way to put yourself at ease is to visit a doctor and explain your symptoms. After you receive confirmation that you are healthy and not suffering from anything serious, relax, take a deep breath, and work on managing your anxiety. Since a doctor can rule out serious medical conditions, trust that you are healthy and are just experiencing normal symptoms associated with an anxiety attack. Additionally, psychologists are another great resource; taking time to talk about your worries with someone else can help put your mind and body at ease. Lastly, I recommend working with a Certified Health Coach who will give you tools to manage your stress and anxiety and will create a program specifically to help you be healthy, happy, and stress-free. A great book that I recommend to clients is Panic Attacks Workbook: A Guided Program for Beating the Panic Trick by David Carbonell, Ph.D (purchase this book here).

Throughout this stressful time, I reached out to Felice Austin, a hypnotherapist, yoga instructor, and therapeutic imagery facilitator. As it turns out, Felice has some great videos on meditating to help strengthen and rebuild the arcline, which is helpful in preventing panic attacks and depression. Even if you are not experiencing panic attacks and depression, these meditations are still great stress relievers. The first video explains tuning in (what we should do at the beginning of a meditation), the second video is a meditation to strengthen and rebuild the arcline (this is the video that will help with depression, panic attacks, and dealing with stress), and the last video explains tuning out (what we should do at the end of a meditation).

I hope these tips will help you as you are trying to relieve stress. If you are ready to work with a Certified Health Coach who will guide you and help you manage your stress by creating a program specifically designed for you, contact me so we can set up your initial appointment and give you the tools to be happy, healthy, and stress-free! Remember, you are not alone and there are ways to deal with anxiety and there are people who are trained to help. Be well and take care of yourself and if you have a story to share with everyone that you feel will help, please share! Xo