Stress Relief for your Fitness Journey

There are a lot of things that can add stress to your life, but your fitness journey shouldn’t be one of them. In fact, studies have confirmed that exercise itself can help prevent or reduce stress. Sure, everyone experiences down days or minor setbacks. It’s how you deal with those challenges that make a difference in your results.

 

Here are a few suggestions to help you conquer your stress and move forward to a positive outcome.

 

Lean on your Curves coach

One of the amazing benefits of going to Curves is having your Curves coach there with you at every workout. She knows you and understands the obstacles and challenges you’re working to overcome. Talk to her. Let her know when you’re feeling a little down or when your motivation is starting to wane. She’s an expert at identifying vulnerable areas and knows what to do to get you back on your happy track.

 

Draw motivation from your Curves family

You already know that the Curves environment is a supportive and positive community. Sometimes all it takes to turn around an uninspired mood is to chat up your workout buddies while you’re breezing through your Curves routine. Share the challenges of your day with them and before you know it you’ll feel the day’s stresses melting away.

 

10 more simple ways to conquer stress:

1. Slow down! We have a tendency to do many things in a rushed manner, even when we’re not really short on time.

2. Breathe deeply. Take a two-minute timeout to close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.

3. Take a bubble bath. Skip the shower at least once a week and soak in a warm tub instead.

4. Meditate. Turn down the lights, burn some incense, put on a CD of ocean waves and lose yourself for half an hour.

5. Stay hydrated. Dehydration can increase cortisone levels which in turn, can increase stress.

6. Laugh! Don’t take yourself so seriously. You should be laughing several times every day.

7. Go to your happy place. Close your eyes and imagine your favorite vacation spot or the place where you first fell in love.

8. Put up a mirror where you hang out most often. Look into it often and smile.

9. Dance! Alone, with friends, with your dog…it doesn’t matter. Dancing always makes us feel good.

10. Stop worrying about what can go wrong and get excited about what can go right!

 

It doesn’t matter what method you use to get rid of stress…just do what works best for you. Like any other bad habit, kicking stress out of your life may take some time. Be patient, be persistent and be positive!

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3 BEST STEPS TO HELP PREVENT DIABETES

1. Check for Pre-diabetes.

Pre-diabetes, as its name implies, is a precursor to diabetes. It is defined by a blood sugar level that is high but not at the level of diabetes, and it puts you at a greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes than someone with a normal blood sugar level. If you have it, you likely won’t know it because, generally, there are no physical symptoms, but certain factors mean you are more likely to have pre-diabetes: being 45 years of age or older, having a family history of diabetes, being overweight, exercising less than three times a week, having had gestational diabetes, and being of certain ethnic backgrounds.

Diabetes Australia offers a simple Type 2 Diabetes Risk Calculator. Simply visit their website and answer 11 short questions to assess your likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes. If your score is high, be sure to make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your diabetes risk and get your blood sugar tested.

Evidence shows that weight loss of 5-7% along with 150 minutes of weekly moderate physical activity will reduce your risk for diabetes by 58%. For support to achieve that goal, see the Diabetes Australia website for diabetes prevention programs and initiatives in your state or territory.

2. Make exercise a priority.

Regular physical activity is one of the most important steps you can take to prevent diabetes. “Skeletal muscle [biceps, triceps, calves, quads, etc.] is your body’s biggest consumer of blood sugar,” points out Timothy Church, MD, MPH, PhD, a professor of preventative medicine at Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University, and a member of the Curves and Jenny Craig Science Advisory Board.

Muscle burns glucose for energy. The more you move, the more your muscle cells pull blood sugar out of circulation and into the energy production furnace. And when you exercise regularly, adds Church, your body becomes more efficient at using glucose. Finally, regular physical activity helps you get to and maintain a healthy weight. Diabetes Australia recommends 30 minutes of exercise every day or 45-60 minutes per day if you need to lose weight.

The best exercise for diabetes prevention? A combination of cardio and strength training, says Church: “Aerobic exercise and resistance training impact the muscle in different ways. It’s a case of 1 + 1 equals 3.” Cardio plus strength training? Sounds like a Curves Workout, right?

3. Eat well to help prevent diabetes.

According to Diabetes Associations maintaining a healthy body weight is one of the most important aspects of diabetes prevention (and management), so keep an eye on portion control and avoid high-calorie foods. Cut back on saturated fat and fill up instead on high-fiber foods such as whole grains, beans, and whole fruits and vegetables. Fiber helps you feel satisfied throughout the day so that you don’t overindulge during or between meals, and it helps to slow the release of sugar into your body. Whole foods also pack lots vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients important to good health.

Knowing your risk for diabetes, exercising regularly, and eating healthfully puts you on the best path to diabetes prevention.