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Ease Out of Stress

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA

Be Like a Dog with Stress

Are you time-pressed, overstressed, overbooked, underloved, underfed? Ok, I got a little carried away thinking of “It Never Rains in Southern California.” YouTube Preview Image

Stress can take a toll on your well-being, weight, and ability to enjoy life. When we launched our VoiceAmerica.com radio show, Active Aging for Boom Chicka Boomers, we interviewed hormone expert, Tamara Grand on the subject of midlife weight gain. In looking at the effects of hormones, Tamara commented on the role stress plays in layering on fat. (Listen to the whole show, but the short story here is that stress triggers the release of cortisol, which slows the body’s metabolism and promotes fat storage). Oy vay, does that short story have an unhappy plot!

This connection between stress and fat levels going up together, triggered an email from one of our radio show listeners:

What’s the easiest way to reduce stress in a busy life?

Good question! Add in the aspect of “easy” being tied to “busy life” and the best methods probably also mean the quickest or least time consuming. The answer is … It Depends. What might be easy for you might be hard–and perhaps even stressful– for me. For example, I find a walk in nature relaxing and stress reducing. Walking outside might be anathema to you. You know I have to mention that even a 5 minute walk outdoors helps release tension.

Walk in Nature to Destress

Walk This Way

In researching meditation benefits for our post on its stress reducing aspects we discovered that meditating as short as three minutes make a positive difference.

Taking deep, refreshing breaths is another strategy that is easy, free, and quick.

So far so good — get into nature; move/ walk/ exercise; breathe deeply; meditate. What else?

First, let’s distinguish between chronic and acute stress. And done! Yup, go to our post “Is Stress Making You Fat?” to catch up on what chronic stress can do to you and what you can do it!  I feel better already knowing my work on that subject is already written. Whew!

Next, let’s consider more strategies that are easy, effective, and quick. For instance, laughing is a great way to bring cortisol levels down. Oh sha bam – again dropping my stress levels by having you link to this article from WebMD that offers 10 relaxation techniques you can all try. Why work harder than I have to?

Total Gym and Kymberly

Combine two destress tactics into one: Relaxing While Exercising

What’s left? Ah yes, please also read our post about how stress is a stealth saboteur of your good health.  Again, I feel pressure being lifted from my well-toned shoulders being able to refer you to work already finished. Aaaaahhh

However, I am compelled to do a little heavy lifting here. Of all the strategies I encounter, support, and even propose why not go straight to the problem? What is causing the chronic stress in the first place? Would it ultimately be easier, or at least more successful to address the source? For example, if finances are the cause of the stress, then is it time to change either income or expenses? The change might be challenging at first, but easier long term if the problem is solved.  Meantime, I plan to use the easy, free, readily available stress reducing strategy of LAUGHING and BREATHING, preferably while WORKING OUT! Hmmm, that means it’s time to call my witty, walking sister.

Reduce stress easily when you subscribe to our website and listen to our radio show. Experience some of the best leaders in the health, wellness, and fitness world every Wednesday morning at 8:00 PT/ 11:00am ET. Listen in (better yet, call in to 866-472-5792) to our new radio show Active Aging for Boom Chicka Boomers with guests who offer practical advice and cutting edge solutions to your active aging challenges. You’ll find us at voiceamerica.com on the Health and Wellness channel.

 

About Fun and Fit

Get practical exercise advice, your fitness questions answered, and cutting edge health edu-tainment that is accessible and doable from long time fitness experts, Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA. We have taught on land, sea, and airwaves for 3 decades on 4 continents. From writing to speaking, emceeing to hosting a radio show, reviewing products to teaching classes, we believe that little steps turn into big paths. Move a little more than the day before. FitFluential Ambassadors and award-winners both online and off.

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16 Responses to Ease Out of Stress

  1. Debbie @ Live from La Quinta April 17, 2014 at 3:19 pm #

    Great point about working on the source of the stress. All the deep breathing, exercise, and, my stress reliever, yoga, in the world won’t help in the long run if you don’t change what is stressing you out.
    Debbie @ Live from La Quinta recently posted..Halfway Through April. How is Spring into Yoga Going?My Profile

    • KymberlyFunFit April 21, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

      Thanks for reading all the way to the end. I am working on eliminating some ongoing stressors in my life that all the strategies to deal with help, but in the end I need to get rid of the source.
      KymberlyFunFit recently posted..Do You Have a Stuck Metabolism?My Profile

  2. Health and beauty April 18, 2014 at 1:51 am #

    Hello there – You know, the Bible addresses this topic. Philippians 4 lists 4 keys to alleviate stress and anxiety:
    1. Decide you will not be an anxiety sufferer.
    2. Pray with reverence to the Divine, for the specific things that you want, and with a heart of gratitude.
    3. Meditate on the right things.
    4. Take action – don’t allow fear to paralyze you from accomplishing what you need to.
    Health and beauty recently posted..10 Diet Traps to Stay away fromMy Profile

  3. Tamara April 18, 2014 at 10:24 am #

    My favourite way to de-stress? (After participating in radio show interviews, of course!)

    Knitting! It’s repetitive spatio-motor movements relax my brain and body, slow my breathing and force me to be in the moment (or risk dropping a stitch).
    Tamara recently posted..From knees to toes | tips for progressing your pushupsMy Profile

    • KymberlyFunFit April 21, 2014 at 3:27 pm #

      Dropping stitches does not keep me in stitches and might even stress me out. Now RECEIVING those knitted gift items from you is very relaxing for me!
      KymberlyFunFit recently posted..What is Your Health Worth? My Profile

  4. Donna April 18, 2014 at 11:35 am #

    Relaxing while exercising — love it! I’ve tried to tell people before that you can indeed do the two at the same time and get “the look.” I am so much more relaxed while/after working out, even if I’m pushing my body to the extreme…or at least it feels like I am! :) Great post!
    Donna recently posted..Our 20th Wedding Anniversary Getaway Trip to Pismo BeachMy Profile

  5. Carol Cassara April 18, 2014 at 4:25 pm #

    Stress is insidious–it kills silently. I’m not sure people get it, actually. I’m a fan of laughter, it really is the best medicine.
    Carol Cassara recently posted..Writing your truth without apologyMy Profile

  6. Jody - Fit at 56 April 18, 2014 at 7:59 pm #

    Great post Kymberly!!! We all may have different ways to reduce stress like for me, the weights. I do like this: What is causing the chronic stress in the first place? Would it ultimately be easier, or at least more successful to address the source? But for me, that was the problem too – making good money in a job I hated to get up to… then less money causes issues as well – it is a balancing act. :)

    Comment luv did not work for me today

    Taking a Few Days Away; Happy Easter http://truth2beingfit.com/2014/04/17/taking-a-few-days-away-happy-easter.aspx

  7. Ben April 19, 2014 at 4:50 am #

    Being able to target the cause of your stress and get rid of it will most certainly help people lose weight. How can you expect to focus and be healthy when your mind is full of stress. I love the idea of walking in nature, listening to upbeat music and taking in the scenery to de stress!! Ahhhhh, and breathe :)
    Ben recently posted..Day 1: Start a weight loss blog!My Profile

    • KymberlyFunFit April 21, 2014 at 3:33 pm #

      With ya’ all the way Ben! Where do you walk? I just read a bunch of articles on the effects of music on us. The playlist can make such a difference.
      KymberlyFunFit recently posted..Want a Better Memory? Why? How? My Profile

  8. Karen @BakingInATornado April 19, 2014 at 6:07 am #

    What makes us all so interesting and unique is that although we all have stress, how we get rid of it is different. I bake. Probably doesn’t make sense to everyone but it works for me.
    My favorite part of this entire piece is the value of laughter.
    Karen @BakingInATornado recently posted..Fly on the Wall, April 2014My Profile

  9. Venus Factor Scam May 4, 2014 at 10:48 am #

    Luckily I live beside a forest, Is a great for a walk in nature and helps me relieve stress easily.
    Venus Factor Scam recently posted..Rihanna Diet and Exercise Routine – How The Singer Stay’s So FitMy Profile

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