To relieve stress, get moving

With the current hard economic times that come with high demands such as school fees, rent and food among other expenses, one has to work extra hard if they are to continue living a decent life.
As such, tight deadlines are set which makes one to set hard targets that stimulate stress and make it unavoidable. The cycle therefore, makes stress to be part of one’s life that one just needs to learn how to manage it without distorting their targets.
Robert Bwana, a physiotherapist at the Kamwokya based Physique Rehabilitation Clinic, says people should not only remember to do physical exercises when they are treating injuries such as bone dislocations. “You just need to include physical exercises as part of your routine lifestyle. Schedule your exercises in a way that they will not seem like a burden,” Bwana advises.
Bwana says one should use the time during exercise to reflect on things that happen in their lives and find solutions in their mind.

The kind of exercises can include among others; Jogging or running, continuous laps, swimming, rollerblading at fast pace, basketball or football as well as skipping rope.
“The best time [to do this] is in the morning or even some times at the end of the day when one is done with their productive work,” he adds.
Among other benefits of physical activity, Bwana points out helping one to concentrate and forget the stressing challenges as well as taking off from the stressful routine.
Dr Vincent Karuhanga, a physician at polyclinic in Kampala, emphasises that exercise is prescribed by doctors as a stress reliever.
“Physical activity helps one to produce endorphins which help to reduce pain.

They are our internal aspirin. They also produce other enzymes which improve loss of apetite and sleep, both of which are brought about by stress,”Dr Karuhanga explains.
He, however, cautions that elderly people above 50 years should be careful with some activities such as lifting heavy weights and concentrate on easier activities such as walking.

It improves your mood.
Dr Karuhanga also says that regular exercise can increase self-confidence, relax you and lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety. Exercise can also improve your sleep, which is often disrupted by stress, depression and anxiety. All of these exercise benefits can ease your stress levels and give you a sense of command over your body and your life.
For effective results, however, both Bwana and Dr Karuhanga advise that one spends at least 30 minutes doing exercises for at least twice a week but should not take long doing them as they can become a burden and bring stress instead of curing it.
Whatever you do, do not think of exercise as just one more thing on your to-do list. Find an activity you enjoy and make it part of your regular routine. Any form of physical activity can help you unwind and become an important part of your approach to easing stress.

Before you start exercising

A successful exercise programme begins with a few simple steps. Robert Ddamulira, a fitness instructor gives the following tips:

• Consult with your doctor. If you have not exercised for some time and you have health concerns, talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.

• Walk before you run. Build up your fitness level gradually. Excitement about a new programme can lead to overdoing it and possibly even injury.

• Do what you love. Virtually any form of exercise or movement can increase your fitness level while decreasing your stress. The most important thing is to pick an activity that you enjoy.

• Pencil it in. Although your schedule may necessitate a morning workout one day and an evening activity the next, carving out some time to move every day helps you make your exercise program an ongoing priority.

The more comfortable exercise is for you, the more you enjoy it—and high satisfaction equals high stress relief. Stock photo