Search     |     Share     |     Blog     |     My Food Diary     |     Login
Healthy eating and exercise for life

Eating Right and Exercising Eases Stress


We experience it every day. Work, children, a sick parent, a relative's visit or even just our day-to-day activities all play a role. Our lives can be busy or hectic, and stress can add up faster than we realize. Often, when stress levels reach the limit, people may find themselves changing their normal routine in the hope of finding a few shortcuts. Logic tells us that if we only had more free time we would be able to do everything – to become super-human!  Especially around this time of year, as the holidays loom, people seem to get more stressed out.

Because of the stress you decide to forego your normal exercise routine for extra time. You tell yourself you’ll find time for that bike-ride tomorrow. Maybe you "throw out" your healthy eating habits. Rather than pack your lunch, you hit the drive-through and ask for the super-sized meal. You justify the extra calories with convenience and tell yourself, I’ll try and eat healthier tomorrow when I have more time to think about it. Or, perhaps you skip lunch all together. By the time you get home from work, you are ravenous and think only of immediate gratification. You eat a large dinner with several alcoholic drinks. You tell yourself that tomorrow you’ll remember to eat a healthy lunch so that you don’t overeat at dinner.

Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow. Like stress, tomorrows can add up very fast. Before you know it, you’ve forgone your exercise routine for weeks and haven’t eaten healthy in months. You may have had good intentions, but found yourself caught in a vicious cycle. Whatever the case, many of us deal with stress in unhealthy ways. You may not have as much energy as you did before when tackling your busy schedule. Perhaps you’re not sleeping as well lately. Or maybe you find yourself catching colds easier.

In times of stress, more than ever, you need to emphasize your healthy lifestyle habits.

Don't forego exercise. If you don't think you have time to make it to the gym, take a walk around the block. Or if you normally walk for an hour and can't fit that into your schedule, walk for half an hour. The point is, exercise is important not only for obtaining and maintaining a healthy weight, but also for your mental well-being. Exercise also will give you a higher and more sustainable energy level over time, and will help you sleep better at night. The same is true for eating healthy. Skipping meals, eating high fat and high calorie foods, etc., won't give you the energy and nutrients you need to cope. Instead, include more fruits and vegetables in your diet, order more healthy items when dining out rather than the high-calorie and fat laden meals, or consider using the convenient and calorie-controlled frozen meals readily available in your local grocery store. Remember, you can make healthy meals in a jiffy. For example, buy pre-cut fruits and vegetables, a bag of salad and get out the crock pot and make a roast. Dinner will practically serve itself. And don’t underestimate your body’s ability to withstand colds, the flu and other common diseases through healthy eating. Depleting your body of proper nutrients and activity by neglecting healthy habits can make your body more susceptible to illness.  It's important to maintain your healthy habits in times of stress.

Exercise and eating right will help you handle stress better.

You will have more energy to tackle whatever life throws your way. You will also feel better about yourself, and will be better able to work through stress without breaking down mentally or physically. And, don't forget, we're with you every step of the weigh - even in times of stress. So use the message boards to post any feelings or anxiety you may be having. Let other participants of give you the support you need!