Does your heart race at the end of the day or the end of the working week? Are you finding it hard to lose weight from your mid-section even though you eat well and exercise accordingly? One of the leading causes to stubborn weight loss is stress!! Stress and anxiety is becoming more and more prevalent in today’s lifestyles and the more stressed we become the more we fob it off as something else. We lead such highly technology driven lives that everyone is always accessible at all times. We are all so wired and switched on that we never really get the time to literally “switch off”. At the touch of a button we can email someone (no matter what time of day or night, we can shop online for clothes, food or even cars, home loans, insurance, health care). We can pay bills, check out what Sally did on her trip to Hawaii last week or find a date for Friday night. The list is endless and it is always just an arm’s length away. Technology and energy from food, people and even the information we take on-board on a daily basis is always accessible or right in front of us. When does it end? Well it doesn’t however the way we absorb all this activity and energy and the way in which we monitor it can be controlled in a manner where it lowers stress levels and increases happy endorphins within the body.
So how do we lower stress and anxiety levels in this highly functioning world that we live in? First and foremost, breathe. It is all about the breath. The majority of the population do not know how to breathe correctly. Society in general are becoming shallow breathers, only breathing from their chest rather than their stomach. Shallow breathing will cause anxiety levels to rise and can lead to anxiety attacks if not dealt with. Yoga is a great place to start when it comes to learning how to use your breath optimally however if you feel like you are not ready for yoga just yet than breathe work on a daily basis can help. It doesn’t have to be for hours on end just 15-20mins a day. Just simply turn the phone off or on silent if off is too scary for you and listen to your breathe, find an app than can guide you through some deep breathing exercises. Or downloading a meditation app can also assist in with getting to know your breathe a little better. Headspace, calm and smiling minds are some great ones to start with. Allow some time to yourself either at the start of your day or at the end when you start to wind down for bed to work through some guided meditation and start breathing a little deeper or on your lunch break, find what will work for you.
Secondly, yoga. Of course yoga helps with stress. Yoga is a mind and body practice that encompasses physical poses, controlled breathing and meditation/relaxation. Yoga can assist with helping reduce stress, lower blood pressure and your heart rate. So going back to what I asked at the start of the article, does your heart race at the end of the day? You need to lower your heart rate through breathing which is done through….yoga! See how it is all interconnected?? So when practising yoga, it helps to bring together both mental and physical disciplines which in the long run will help relax the body and help you manage your stress a lot better than if you don’t practice yoga.
Last but most definitely not least, SLEEP. My goodness sleep plays a big part of our daily lives. Not only the quantity of sleep but more importantly the quality of sleep. You can sleep 8-9 hours per night that is fantastic but if they are 8-9 hours of broken sleep and a poor R.E.M cycle than that 8 hours in bed can be useless. A better quality of sleep and a healthier R.E.M cycle (rapid eye movement which occurs 25% of an adults sleep cycle.) is more important in this case and helps with functions such as learning, memory and your mood. So quality just like our food is more important than quantity. So if you are not get a good quality of sleep or you are unsure if you are getting a decent quality good night’s sleep than you may need to start a bedtime routine or ritual. Something that you do every night before you get into bed to tell your body it is time to wind down and relax before getting into bed. Something where for a good 20-30mins there is no technology involved, no sound and no stimulation. Something that is stress free in order for your body to know it is time to sleep and not time to think of the top 100 things to do when you get up in the morning because frankly that can wait. Stress can wait, we need to learn ways in which we can lower our levels of stress and we need to action them, now!! Not tomorrow or next week when it’s going to be “less busy” because let’s be honest that week is never going to come. Don’t even consider making it a new year’s resolution, the time is now. We need to action and manage our stress levels now because the stresses of life aren’t going anywhere and if we don’t do something soon anxiety is going to be the norm, and that is not healthy!!
Follow us on Facebook and Instagram as we are forever posting tips on ways to manage stress or better yet come in and talk to us about yoga, we love the yin and yang of fitness and yoga plays a big part here at Real Fitness Training– Balance trumps all. We are also hosting a Wellness Retreat on the 17thAugust for three days, it has been booked out due to high demand however we are looking to do another one early next year. Stay posted on all our happenings at RFT as knowledge is key to success.
If you are in the Hills District area including Castle Hill, Kellyville, Bella Vista, Baulkham Hills, Glenhaven, West Pennant Hills, Dural, Rouse Hill and surrounding areas contact us to help you get started on your health and wellness journey.