Stress, Exercise as a Coping Strategy by Jimoh Ibrahim

Stress, depression, anxiety are inevitable in the life of a human, and as we humans age, so are we  more predisposed to more stressors which have physical and emotional effects on overall health and well-being. Stress has been described as the inability to cope with a threat (real or imagined) to a person's well-being, which results in a series of response by the body. It is also the physical and emotional strain caused by our response to pressure from external elements. Common stesss reaction include, tension, irritability to concentrate and a variety of physical symptoms that include headache and fast heartbeat. It is very disheartening that reasonable number of people handle stress by sitting at the desk, standing at the water-cooler or behind the wheel stuck in traffic, pacing up and down, some will even resort to smoking and/or drinking alcohol in order to be relieved of the stress they encounter but they  are ignorant of the fact that these actions cause more harm to their body than the good they sort after by adopting these strategies. However, learning the proper preventive measures and coping methods can reduce the effects of stress and adverse health problems posed by stress reactions. Fortunately, taking frequent effective exercise is one of the best physical stress-reduction techniques. Exercise on regular basis helps to turn down the production of stress hormones (like cortisol and help to increase endorphins into the blood stream; this gives one the feeling of happiness and positively affect the overall sense of well-being) and associated chemicals. It is a potent antidepressant, anxiolytic (combats anxiety) and sleeping aid for some people. What type of exercise do I need?

STRETCHING EXERCISE, stretching exercise is the type recommended for relieving stress. Stress make the muscles tensed up and can cause headache, stiff neck, sore shoulders and a knotted back. Full body stretch will help the muscle relax and help to breathe deeper. You can easily stretch at home, in the office, travelling in a car, bus, or on plane. Some stretching exercise than can be easily done are:

While sitting, tip the head slowly from side to side, then forward and back, repeat for several times.

While standing, reach as high as comfortable with both arms for 10 seconds, straighten up, slowly repeat it.

While lying down on your back, stretch your legs forward, lift your upper body so that you try to reach for the toes with your fingers,hold for 10 seconds.

You may want to stretch other muscles of the body. Remember to stretch gently and slowly, to avoid injury, don't strain or bounce while stretching.

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