Commit to a Regular Workout
Senior Master Thomas’ Changing Lives ATA Martial Arts
You’ve tightened your abs, stretched your hamstrings and built your biceps, but have you exercised to build your mental stamina? Exercise helps your body resist stress-related disorders. The brain sends signals to the body to produce adrenaline during stressful situations, but it’s meant to be for short periods of time, not long-term. Long-term exposure to adrenaline causes many physical problems, and can contribute to headaches, digestive problems, colds, high blood pressure, heart disease and even stomach fat!
According to Barbara Brehm-Curtis, EdD, professor of exercise and sport studies at Smith College in Northampton, MA, “If done consistently, physical activity actually reduces your stress reactivity. That means less adrenaline gets released and you don’t get as stressed out by things that used to upset you.”
There are some things you can do to facilitate the stress resistance factors. Choose physical activities, like martial arts, that allow you to have fun! This alters the brain chemistry in a positive way, reducing stress. Playing vigorously has the added benefit of ridding your body of stress-causing hormones such as adrenaline.
Strength training, yoga or any exercise, which involves tensing then releasing muscles, can act as progressive relaxation. As Dr. Brehm-Curtis explains it, “When you measure muscle electrical activity after weight training, there’s less electrical activity, indicating that the muscles are more relaxed.”
If you are not the type to meditate, try rhythmic, repetitive activities such as swimming, rowing or running, which increase alpha brain waves. These are the same waves that produce a meditative calm.
How many of us have said we can’t find time for one 30 or 40 minute exercise session? The American Council on Exercise suggests taking a 10-minute break every 90 minutes to climb stairs or walk around the building. You’ll accumulate 50 minutes of exercise in an eight-hour day and be more productive, because you’re reducing stress.
For stress-relieving benefits, try exercising at least 30 minutes most days of the week. If you are new to exercise, begin with just two or three days, then work up to five or more days. If you need help or have questions, ask your martial arts instructor. Remember, exercise doesn’t just affect your physical appearance, but your mental health too.
Try a fun and safe workout one-three times a week at Changing Lives ATA Martial Arts. Serving four locations in Hampton Roads. Please contact CLMA at 757-471-9002 for a “Free 3 Day Fitness Class” and Experience The Difference ! http://www.atakick.com