For a stress-free life, try exercise

STRESS! None of us saw this coming. Being cooped up has been a challenging experience, but we've all made sacrifices for the greater good. How have you been managing your stress? Maybe a better question is : Have you been managing your stress?

If you've slipped out of your routine, don't stress about it. For some people exercise is a stress relief. For other people the idea of exercising is a burden. To them I would say : find a type of exercise you like. Find that thing that makes you turn your brain off for a bit. Maybe its dancing or rock climbing, kick boxing or running, but whatever it is find it. Exercise is good for your body, but it can also be really good for your mind. If you can find a fitness hobby then you'll have a much better "why" and that can be great motivation. Exercise should be about experimenting with what your body can do, and if we break physical barriers we can break mental barriers as well.

Now is the time to try that group class that you've been dying to go to. Group classes are great because you can feed off of other people's energy when you're in the studio. At home it's a little different. You still workout with the group, get that social connection and become part of a community, but without the fear of people watching you. You're much more focused on what you're doing because during class you aren't comparing yourself to the person next to you. I'm really looking forward to being back in the studio with everyone, but I've also really enjoyed this online time. Obviously I find comfort in exercise, it gives me a sense of control and when I finish a workout I feel like I've achieved something. It also gives me something to focus on, there are always things to improve on when it comes to your health. If you're looking for some other ideas to relieve stress, here have been my most helpful things :

1) Morning movement. I just do 10 -15 minutes of mobility in the morning. I wake up, and see how I'm feeling, it's my time to check in with myself after I've had my cup of tea. I'm going to be doing a "Move More" challenge in March so stay tuned for that if you need ideas.

2) Meditate. This doesn't have to be anything fancy. I just find a moment for myself and focus on my breath and clear my mind. There are a million apps out there that can get you started if you've never done it. Calm and Headspace are probably the most popular. Don't knock it, until you try it!

3) Read. This is more time unplugged as I have a lot of physical books. You could swap this for an audiobook or podcast if you want, but shave off some of that social media time and swipe through some pages instead.

4) Less phone time. I don't wake up and grab my phone, and I don't look at it last thing before bed. I give myself an hour after I wake up before I check it, and I'm off my phone for at least an hour before I go to sleep. It was stressing me out when I felt like I needed to check it all the time.

5) Try something new! Be uncomfortable, push your boundaries. You're enough, right now, exactly as you are, but why not see what you could become! As Jean Giraudoux would say "Only the mediocre are always at their best." You have everything you need to get started. So what are you waiting for?

#stress #fitness #workout

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