How Stress Erases Your Exercise Gains

Go out: No, I don't mean going out to bars and restaurant. Go out into nature. Instead of going for lunch, take your lunch into the nearby park or somewhere where there is a fountain, some trees, some greens and, best of all, a park. Your surroundings alone can often give you a relieving respite from your stress.

Walk: Instead of going to the gym and heading back indoors after a long day at the office, go out and take a walk. Speed it up. Feel good that your entire body is involved. If you speed walk, you are receiving a full body workout, including cardiovascular training. If you feel good doing it, start to jog, run and even sprint from time to time. Then add on strength training in your local gym.

Music: It is the era of the iPod, and what a great accessory it is for exercise! You can use it for anything and everything. Listen to some classical music. Or find relaxation techniques to download that you can follow by listening to it for no more than five to 10 minutes per day. You get the picture.

Power nap: Hey, wake up — I'm not talking about sleeping. I am referring to a power meditation nap. How are you going to do this? Lie on the floor on your back and bring your hands to your chest. Now just focus on breathing and try to get rid of any thoughts that come to your mind. Focus on your breathing. Most likely you will zoom out and fall briefly asleep and wake up rejuvenated. If you are nervous about not waking up, you can set your Blackberry or iPod. Both of them have alarm functions. After a while you will be able to know when the time is up. Count down from 10 to one and open your eyes. Try it. It works.

Breathe: When you are stressed, you start to breathe flat. Catch yourself doing this and make yourself breathe deeply. Repeat this four to eight times, and get back to work refreshed. Yawning is another great solution to introduce.

No more excuses. All of those solutions can be implemented anyplace, anytime and anywhere. Making your body your business is work. Even to relax can be work. So make it work.

Stefan Aschan is the owner and founder of www.strength123.com, providing nutrition and exercise programs in New York City.

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