It is well known that exercise helps to alleviate stress. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Association (NHLBA) endorse exercise as a way to reduce stress, and recommends cardiovascular exercise that elevates the heart rate for 15 to 30 minutes--three to four times a week. The American Psychology Association has conducted numerous studies indicating the beneficial effects of exercise in dealing with stress. Exercise releases endorphins into the blood stream. Endorphins are "feel good" hormones and are the body's natural pain-killers. They also generate the sensory perception of physical well-being, which in turn contributes to emotional and mental health.
It has been reported that Tai Chi reduces the amount of stress hormones in the body, and has also has been shown to lower blood pressure and improve grip strength in older people. Tai Chi is a comprehensive series of gentle physical movements, and breathing techniques, with mental and spiritual intent, which allows you to experience a meditative state. It is calming and rejuvenating, and assists the body and mind to maintain balance, and exercises the body, mind and spirit.
Yoga is another way to relieve stress. According to the American Yoga Association: “Yoga helps you to access an inner strength that allows you to face the sometimes-overwhelming fears, frustrations, and challenges of everyday life. The American Yoga Association program to reduce stress in the body, breath, and mind does so by building coping skills with a small daily routine of exercise, breathing, and meditation. A few Yoga exercises practiced daily (especially if they are done just prior to meditation) help to regulate the breath and relax the body by gently releasing tension from the large muscle groups, flushing all parts of the body and brain with fresh blood, oxygen, and other nutrients, and increasing feelings of well-being."
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