Stress and play are the biggest trends for 2013!
It was with great interest I read an article in Fast Company about the top trends in business predicted for 2013. Of these, several will have serious impacts on your health. The two I would like to talk about are stress and play.
We all now know how stress has magnified to become a concern in our lives. Can we see anybody who isn’t under some degree of stress? Our bodies were designed in a a way so that we can react and adapt to stress, and in fact a little bit of stress is good for us. The problem is the chronic low grade stress that is omnipresent in the background throughout our lives, day in and day out. It is important to recognize the sources causing the most stress, and deal with those appropriately. We can’t live in a bubble. But the low grade constant stress is the one that is constantly eating away at our health and leading to an early death. Stress affects our body’s ability to regulate our hormones, insulin and inflammation levels. Prolonged stress has been shown to greatly influence the leading causes of death, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
It is therefore important to do a self-check, do what you can to reduce the stress in your life, while at the same time strengthening up your body’s coping mechanisms to handle the stress. We are therefore recommending taking an offensive as well as defensive strategy to protect your health.
Here than are the top 7 ways to help your body cope with the negative effects of stress:
We know how great we feel after we exercise, it is probably the simplest and most effective way to decrease the effects of stress immediately.. The paradox is that the more busy we are, the more stressed we are, and the less time we have to exercise or take care of ourselves. But this has to be looked at as an investment, or a key ingredient in our life, where if we skip this step, all other aspects of our life will be less effective or productive.. Put in the time to move and exercise 5 times a week, a little or a lot, but consistency is the key. Talk to our kinesiologist about how she can help guide you to fit in this most important health routine. Whether working out at home with a personalized program, or joining one of our fitness classes, make 2013 your year of physical health!
2. Manual Therapy
The effects of hands on therapy, like massage and chiropractic, has been shown to drastically reduce the negative effects of stress, without the serious side effects of medication. These treatments will not only address the symptoms of the stress, but also help with the underlying causes of the stress. Give our office a call if you have a question about how massage or chiropractic can help with your stress.
3. Diet over-haul
Stress will disrupt our natural insulin, cortisol and sugar regulation. This is the key reason why chronic stress will lead to heart disease, cancer and diabetes. What we put into our bodies determines how much background inflammation we have in our body. Therefore, we should do what we can to decrease the availability of sugar and insulin spikes in our body by maintaining a clean and healthy diet. Follow a diet mainly composed of vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, and quality meat. You may want to book an appointment with our naturopath to do a diet check, or join our sugar detox to start the year off right. Don’t leave your diet and health to chance, be proactive and build your foundation!
4. Talk it out.
Seek support, either with friends or professionally, to talk through stressful periods. Often, a different and objective perspective is the key to unlock a stuck situation or provide guidance through a particularly stressful period. See a professional, such as Robin at Lovelylife, for specific coping mechanisms and resolution, or at least a friend you can trust. The immediate effects are profound.
Relaxation and meditation practices are great at physically and emotionally reversing the negatives effects of stress. There are many ways to meditate and quiet the mind. You can try deep breathing for 2 minutes before bed, or a slow relaxing yoga routine first thing in the morning. This is another case where a few minutes of investment time will give back much more in return.
6. Get in nature.
The physical and spiritual effects of getting out in nature are profound. Don’t let the fact that we have 4 seasons stop you from getting outside. We are lucky as Canadians to have so much beauty in our surroundings, people come from all over the world to walk in our backyard, at all times of the year. A simple walk within a few kilometres of our city is a great way to reconnect ourselves, and help put our busy lives in perspective. Ask us, and we’ll tell you where our favorite walks in the area are!
7. Play time
The article first mentioned also says another key trend will be play time in 2013. The nice thing is play helps us physically, emotionally as well as professionally. A key area in education and leadership for tomorrow will be creativity and imagination. And ways to enhance that. Play, whether it is throwing a frisbee, building a snowman, or swinging a golf club, are all activities that stimulate our brain to become more creative, while building our resistance to stress hormones. Don’t feel guilty about adding play time to your busy schedule, companies like google and Amazon add it to their employees schedules because they know that productive output increases, and it makes for a happier work-force.
And that is what life is about isn’t it? To be happy. But let’s be healthy in our happy pursuits, and 2013 will be the best ever!