Sunday, July 15, 2018
Health

Fight stress with stretching, exercise, deep breathing

Have you ever thought of having a de-stressing plan? Stress seems to attack all of us in some shape or form, whether it's work deadlines, family issues or just dealing with traffic. Most of the stress we deal with is short-lived, but when it continues to hang around and develop into chronic stress, those stress hormones can negatively impact our physical health. The continual "hanging around" feelings can bring on high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, insomnia and muscle tightness, and they can even lower your immune system.

Here are a few ways to help you avoid or deal with those nasty stress encounters:

Shake it off: One of the best and quickest ways to relieve stress is by activating those endorphins through movement. And here you have many choices, one of which is simply self-expression through dancing, often called meditation in motion. You don't follow any programmed routine, you just turn on some music, relax your knees and begin to move your whole body for five or 10 minutes. Stop and be aware of your breathing, then repeat for another "session." And remember: All forms of exercise will help to relieve tension and anxiety, even a quick walk around the block.

Breathe: While we do it every day, be aware that taking time out to breathe slowly and deeply offers stress-relieving benefits by slowing the heart rate and lowering the blood pressure. Any form of deep breathing can help you relax and lead you into the calm zone, so take a five-minute break, sit up straight, close your eyes and inhale through your nose, then slowly exhale through your mouth or nose. You might want to try inhaling while you are counting upward and exhaling while counting downward.

Stretch it out: When the body feels the impact of tension, generally the shoulders, lower back and neck seem to be targeted. Stretching a tight muscle for 20 or 30 seconds can relieve that tension by increasing the circulation, which helps the muscle to relax. Stretching also slows you down, enabling you to be in the moment, which helps you to focus and concentrate.

Yoga and tai chi: While yoga and tai chi may differ in some ways, they both have stress-releasing benefits by offering meditation, exercise and breathing techniques.

Check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program. Sally Anderson is happy to hear from readers but can't respond to individual inquiries. Contact her at [email protected]

 
Comments
So far, so good. Doctors at Tampa General find success with a device that fights often-fatal aneurysms

So far, so good. Doctors at Tampa General find success with a device that fights often-fatal aneurysms

TAMPA — Dr. Murray Shames holds a flexible, lightweight tube as wide as two garden hoses pushed together in his office at Tampa General Hospital. The polyester tube, and its thinner fastening branches with metal wiring, will be attached inside someon...
Published: 07/13/18
Sunday Conversation: Sherry Hoback looks to move Tampa Family Health Centers to the next level

Sunday Conversation: Sherry Hoback looks to move Tampa Family Health Centers to the next level

TAMPA — Taking over for an administrator who has run a company for almost 20 years can be daunting. • But Sherry Hoback prepared for some time to replace Charles Bottoms as CEO of the Tampa Family Health Centers, a non-profit organization that operat...
Updated: 15 minutes ago
How can City Hall improve our health? A new push in Pinellas hopes to show the way.

How can City Hall improve our health? A new push in Pinellas hopes to show the way.

The charitable organization that owns a 20 percent stake in St. Petersburg’s Bayfront Health hospital is working with local governments to improve the public’s health, part of a strategy to make a difference in new and often subtle ways. The Foundati...
Published: 07/11/18
Updated: 07/12/18
New York organ collection agency, nation’s second-largest, threatened with closure

New York organ collection agency, nation’s second-largest, threatened with closure

The government is threatening to close one of the country’s largest "organ procurement organizations" for poor performance, a rare move against a nonprofit group that collects kidneys, livers, hearts and other organs used in transplantation.In a lett...
Published: 07/11/18
Retirement communities turn their sights on a once-invisible group: LGBT seniors

Retirement communities turn their sights on a once-invisible group: LGBT seniors

In 2016, as Kenneth MacLean was about to turn 90 and was looking to move to a retirement community, he had a question for Asbury Methodist Village in Gaithersburg, Maryland."I asked, ‘Would there be many gays here? Would gays be welcomed?’ " MacLean,...
Published: 07/09/18
The other victims: First responders to horrific events often suffer in solitude

The other victims: First responders to horrific events often suffer in solitude

The day a gunman fired into a crowd of 22,000 people at the country music festival in Las Vegas, hospital nursing supervisor Antoinette Mullan was focused on one thing: saving lives.She recalls dead bodies on gurneys across the triage floor, a trauma...
Published: 07/09/18
Put your best feet forward with this health, footwear and beauty advice

Put your best feet forward with this health, footwear and beauty advice

All of a sudden, it’s hot and sunny everywhere — summer, officially — and even the shiest, palest, most woebegone toes are peeking out from their hiding places up North. They’ve been scrubbed and buffed, their nails clipped and polished. And they’re...
Published: 07/06/18
Research points to another exercise perk: mood improvement

Research points to another exercise perk: mood improvement

By Gabriella Boston Special to the Washington Post Do you go for a run to clear your head? Do you walk with friends to decompress, lift weights or do yoga to de-stress? In short, do you exercise to improve your mood? If so, you are on the right tr...
Published: 07/06/18
Mayo Clinic Q&A: tinnitus causes, treatments; liquid biopsies

Mayo Clinic Q&A: tinnitus causes, treatments; liquid biopsies

TAMP DOWN TROUBLING TINNITUS SENSATIONWhat causes tinnitus, and is there anything that can be done to get rid of it?Tinnitus, the sensation of hearing a sound when no external sound is present, often is described as a ringing, buzzing, roaring, click...
Published: 07/06/18
Give vegetables a starring role in grilled kebabs

Give vegetables a starring role in grilled kebabs

America’s Test KitchenWhen it comes to grilled kebabs, vegetables are often an afterthought, typically used as a filler on meat-heavy skewers. But this treatment often leads to mushy, burnt vegetables with no flavor of their own. We wanted to create ...
Published: 07/06/18