Exercise, like meditation, is a time for you to be singular with your thoughts. Even in a noisy gym you can put on your headphones, climb on a machine and away you go into your own world. Amazingly, in any form, exercise is a stress reducer. Although there are many other types of exercise than I list here, these are the most easily obtainable by most people, young or old, rich or poor, and that’s who I like to include in my research and writings.
Overcome Anxiety with Exercise!
What I like to remember about exercise is something I was taught when I took my first yoga class in the early 1970s, and that is, never overextend yourself. If you feel pain, you’re overdoing it. Gradually building strength in any area of your body requires nothing more than repeated movements over time. I have to admit that I err on the side of not enough exercise and that has a lot to do with my fear of pain. If something even hints of pain, my brain goes into immediate overtime finding ways to talk me out of it! So I think the most excellent guidelines when exercising is to take it easy, keep it simple, and don’t overdo it.
I prefer basic yoga as I am reinventing my life and I need to take it slow and easy until my strength increases with each new yoga session. One thing I can tell you about yoga is that if you’re feeling pain, you are overexerting yourself and you will not get the maximum benefit from your time spent with yoga. So easy does it. There is no benefit to overexerting yourself. Your strength will increase if you practice yoga on a regular basis.
Take a walk during breaks while at work. It is an easy and effective stress reducer. I’ve even taken an extra break here and there when it was required to keep my temper intact. It works! Wear comfortable shoes to work and a quick walking break is easy. Or, keep a pair of walking shoes and socks under your desk. Either way, you’ll be glad you walked it off instead of the alternative.
Take precaution to not overdo it. I once injured the tendons in my right foot because I was walking with a tall man (I’m short) and in trying to keep up with him, I seriously blew out my foot. Remember to take the time to smell the flowers.
Swimming is a natural aerobic exercise which just about anybody can do. Even if someone is immobile or otherwise handicapped, they may be able to swim. It is also a fantastic source of stress reduction even if you just sit in the water. When you get up and move around the benefits multiple. If you’re not up to a swim, try water walking for a while until your strength increases. Water walking is a fantastic stress reducer while it tightens muscles without noticeable strain on your body. What could be better?
Hiking is one of my favorite activities. I am fortunate enough to live in the Great Northwest where there are lots of hiking trails, water falls, hills, and mountains.
While I enjoy hiking with friends and children, I greatly enjoy hiking alone. There’s nothing in the world I love better than to walk through nature to listen and look. It calms, nurtures and soothes my nerves. It burns calories and stress!