Stressed out? Try this
Stress is always around the corner especially for those who have frenetic and chaotic lives, like most veterinary professionals.
Fighting enemy number one of mental-physical well-being is possible, just as it is possible to defeat. The benefits of sports and exercise on body and mind health are scientifically proven to help combat stress.
Emerging data shows the beneficial effects of physical activity on the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Some disciplines are particularly effective thanks to the ability to produce endorphins, the wellness molecules that combat the stress hormone- cortisol.
Besides having a series of positive repercussions on the our body, on weight control, on the cardiovascular system, and on the immune system, sports and exercise can also make it easier to us to relax.
More than a real sport, stretching is a pre and post workout, aimed at stretching and relaxing muscles.
In addition to being fundamental for anyone practicing sports, both at a professional and amateur level, it can be an alternative solution for those who want to relax without sweating and working hard.
The advice is to transform stretching into a daily habit, to be practiced especially in those moments of the day when physical tension is felt.
Benefits include greater flexibility / elasticity of the muscles and a general improvement in the ability to move.
Stretching loosens contractures, eliminates muscular / articular tensions, calms the mind and consequently facilitates stress management.
It is well known that sports activities in contact with nature amplify the benefits on body and mind.
Trees, flowers, rivers, sand and the sea are natural elements that contribute to reducing anxiety. In addition, the sun has beneficial effects on mood through the production of serotonin, the happiness hormone.
Let's start with a great classic, a run in a park or near the sea (or lake) allows you to eliminate stress and tension more quickly.
The runner who chooses as the context in which to run the pine forest or the beach moves away from the city chaos, notoriously synonymous with traffic and frenetic pace.
For those who do not like running we suggest a brisk walk.
What is identified as fast walking, if performed regularly and with the correct posture, brings benefits at various levels, both physical and mental.
As well as running and fast walking, even cycling, as an outdoor sport, if practiced in the green, ensures better oxygenation. This clearly contributes to relieving stress and achieving a pleasant feeling of relaxation.
Notwithstanding that any type of physical activity, aerobic or not, can be carried out both outdoors and within gyms and sports centers, there are some disciplines that are commonly practiced in covered facilities.
Among the most relaxing sports is exercising in a pool.
The opposite resistance from water to movement involves intense physical work, both cardiovascular and muscular.
Water allows the muscles to relax and at the same time release tension.
In this section we will explain how to relax the muscles, and consequently how to release tension and stress, through the practice of pilates.
We are in the field of holistic disciplines, which notoriously tend to achieve a balance between body and mind.
The method is based on some guiding principles from Eastern disciplines, such as awareness, concentration and breathing.
Pivotal points around which the pilates exercises rotate, the relaxation of the muscles and the maintenance of the correct posture.
The benefits are identifiable, even from the first training sessions, in an improvement in the ability to control oneself, both physically and mentally.
Pilates relieves stress and tension; at the same time it keeps the mind awake, active and receptive.
On a physical level it favors the elasticity of the spine and in general of all the joints; improves control and fluidity of movements.
For those who are not particularly experienced and approach for the first time the practice of the activity, the advice is to start with a course and with exercises carried out under the supervision of a professional; it is important to perform the movements correctly in order to avoid the risk of physical damage.
In this section we will talk about yoga, a thousand-year-old Indian discipline that is also important in our country.
We have chosen to analyze this particular practice simply because, over the last few decades, it has been so successful that it has become almost a "fashion"; in fact there is to say that all the meditative activities, which combine physical and mental work, have beneficial effects on the reduction of stress, anxiety and nervous states.
Yoga is based on breathing and the accuracy of positions and exercises.
There are numerous beneficial effects, both physically and mentally; let's find out some.
As for the body, the discipline allows to improve the posture and to acquire more elasticity and mobility; it tones the muscles, increases the flexibility of joints and muscles, relieves back and neck pain, facilitates digestion and weight loss.
A regular practice:
improves the functioning of the cardiovascular system, as it lowers the heart rate and blood pressure;
improves the respiratory system and the functioning of the lungs through slow and deep breathing;
strengthens the immune system through the stimulation of the parasympathetic system.
On the psychic level yoga is considered a powerful rebalancer with important antidepressant potential.
In general, through constant practice it is concretely possible to combat, reduce and eliminate stress and anxiety.
Meditation promotes relaxation by lowering cortisol levels, heart rate and blood pressure.
A further benefit, which can be particularly useful for those who, like the student, need to stay concentrated for hours, can be identified in the increase in concentration and in the development of the ability to focus thought.
Unless you have chosen to attend a course, carefully choose the environment in which to practice your daily yoga session; whether external or internal, try to identify a location in which you feel peaceful and that does not present elements of distraction.