As I was so brutally reminded this morning by the five aisles of Christmas stuff in the grocery store, the holidays are upon us once again. Every family seems to have its holiday traditions. Some have huge Thanksgiving feasts. Others like to stay home and prepare for Black Friday. Some people like Christmas, others like Hanukkah, and some stick with New Years. Regardless of your traditions, there is one thing that every person has in common during the holidays: stress.
Yes, stress. The holidays are one of the factors therapists consider when administering a stress-factor test to their patients. If the patient comes in within three months of the holidays, they are at a higher risk of stress-related illnesses than at other times of the year. The good news is that there are ways to combat stress. One of the best ways is through exercise.
Although it’s not entirely known why exercise is so successful in combating stress, at least one explanation is that exercise increases the body's production of certain neurochemicals, including endorphins, which help make you feel good. Exercise is a time-out and can help redirect your concentration from what’s causing you to feel stressed.
At KURU, we want you to have a stress-free holiday season. To help you with this lofty goal, we've gathered a list of five simple exercises you can try almost anywhere to reduce stress.
Regulating breathing is key to proper yoga technique. By controlling your inhalations and exhalations, you can reduce your heart rate and refocus away from the stressors around you. With proper training, you can do yoga anywhere, even if you have to lock yourself in your bedroom during a holiday party.
2. Interval Training
Interval training combines short bursts of intense physical activity with a longer, moderate workout, and you can do it with almost any physical activity. Choose an exercise you like, and start working at a moderate pace.
Two minutes into the workout, begin exerting at a higher intensity. After two minutes at this intensity, switch back to a moderate pace. Continue switching between intervals for the remainder of your workout. You’ll get much more out of your exercise without exercising for longer than usual.
The advent of celebrity dance shows has resulted in gross numbers of dance classes, DVDs, and video games, along with the traditional forums for dance. When things get too tough, pick one of the methods above and dance it out. Dancing is a great aerobic activity and is a lot of fun.
With the right walking shoes, walking can be an excellent stress reliever. Walking is fast, low-impact, and easy to incorporate into regular activities. Take your friend or your dog, go on a hike, or walk around the block. Walk to the store to pick up your groceries. Walk to your neighbors to deliver their present. Even a short walk can be a nice break from holiday stress.
The holidays always seem to result in more chores than usual. While these chores may be a source of stress for you, they can also be a source of exercise. Try some squats in the kitchen while you’re waiting for the gravy to simmer. Lift that frozen turkey over your head a few times before you shove it in the oven or rake those leaves in the yard with extra vigor.
Even vacuuming and dusting can get your heart pumping if you’re in the right mindset. The nice thing about using chores for exercise is that when you’re done exercising, you’re done with the chores.Whatever your preferred method of stress reduction, KURU is there for your comfort and support. Slip on a pair of the ATOM or FLUX styles for performance, style, and versatility for your favorite activity.