Guest Author - Samantha Jackson
Since the stress we all carry around with us is first created in our minds, itís important that you learn how to use your body to help your mind relax. Our modern lifestyles are so busy and crowded that stress reduction and fitness often take a back seat to everything else on the daily to-do list.
If nothing else will bolster your goal to exercise, think of it as the best beauty basic there is - and it's an all natural stress reliever too!
For many of us, working forty hours - then rushing home to cook dinner and, if you have children, driving them to sports and activities is the normal daily routine.
A ten minute uninterrupted shower may be the only relaxation time you get in a day before falling exhausted into the bed at night. How much exercise can you fit into a day like that? You'd be surprised.
I've found that a short 30 minute workout before leaving the house in the morning actually helps me to get more done in the day. Another option would be a 20 to 30 minute walk at lunchtime. It may not seem like a lot, but you'll be surprised at the amazing benefits you'll feel in a short period of time.
Think about it. Are you winded after ten minutes on the treadmill? Do the calipers measure more body fat than you realized was there? Are you stretched to the limit with work but unable to do muscle relaxing stretches?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, you need to add some fitness into your life. A fast track approach is to hire a personal trainer for a series of workouts. Once you learn which exercises are right for your fitness goals and practice the right way to do those exercises, you can work out on your own.
Another way to reduce stress is to eliminate habits which don't support a healthy lifestyle. Smoking, drinking, drugs, caffeine and food binges are reckless choices with long-term health consequences. Youíre setting out to reach new goals and dreams and you need to be in prime health to enjoy those positive life changes.
Another think you want to pay attention to is the amount of sleep you get each night. Our bodies need at least eight hours of sleep, particularly if you have a physically or mentally demanding job that weighs you down with stress.
Turn off the television. Stop instant messaging or playing online games to relax. That's not true relaxation.
Your body needs a period of calm before bedtime to prepare for deep sleep. Falling asleep with the television running in the background isnít the right preparation for quality sleep. A 20 minute evening yoga practice right before bed is a fantastic way to wind down. I use a video podcast that I downloaded from Yogajournal.com for my evening yoga sequence. It's fantastic.
Remember, you need to take care of yourself if you want to be any good at all in taking care of others. You have a right to quiet time. You have a right to relax at home. You have a right to socialize with friends and not answer those text messages. If you want your life back, take it back. Your health depends on it.