We can anticipate some of these things…like the transition into the winter season. Less sunlight, and bad weather can make us feel tired, sad, cranky; or all three! The holiday period is also traditionally also a time that pushes emotions to the surface, and can bring out the best and worst in our personalities.
Other things---losing a job, an illness, a relationship issue---we have no way of predicting. So…the best defense when it comes to managing stress is a good offense, and exercise is a proven, healthy stress-buster!
In our busy lives we all want a quick fix. Too many times that leads to unhealthy choices. People looking to quickly escape daily tensions turn to food, alcohol, or drugs, in an effort to find comfort. Those short-term solutions, of course, lead to major, long-term health problems.
Studies show exercise can make us feel just as good, and allow those good feelings to last much longer than any of those dangerous choices. Think of exercise as a “treat”…a reward…a time just for you to re-charge. Look forward to exercise, and learn to turn to your workout when you need to blow off some steam, work out some problems, or just feel better.
To use exercise as a stress-reliever in your life, start in small spurts…don’t overwhelm yourself with too much too fast. Choosing something that’s fun, like Zumba fitness, makes it easy to stay consistent with your workouts. If you need a push, ask a friend to join you for support.
To maximize stress-relief, pay special attention to the warm-up and cool-down phases of the workout---your body sends strong signals to your brain that trigger the relaxation response. As you move along in your cardio workout, the brain releases endorphins (feel-good chemicals) and increases serotonin levels, which helps to relieve anxiety, and depression. Enjoy that feeling!
The cardiovascular workout you get in a Zumba class has also been shown to boost energy, and the immune system---people who do regular cardio exercise have been shown to be less likely to get colds and the flu!
SO many benefits packed into a little bit of time…so, don’t let the hustle and bustle of the season edge out your much-needed, stress-relieving workout!