The Benefits of Relaxation During the Holidays
Essentrics is all about rebalancing the body and mind. Stress is inevitable during the holiday season: “good stress” like the anticipation of seeing family and friends and “not-so-good stress” like weather delays and endless tasks. Exercise may be the first thing to drop when life gets busy, but a daily workout is your best investment to relax and enjoy the holidays!
How can exercise help us to relax?
The stress-relieving benefits of exercise are two-fold! It improves our mood and helps us feel energized and focused, while also simultaneously decreases feelings of anxiety, stress, and overwhelm.
During times of stress, the body releases hormones – cortisol and adrenaline. Exercise clears those hormones out of our system, and releases endorphins instead – feel-good neurotransmitters that relieve pain and reduce tension from muscles, allowing us to let go and relax. Dopamine gives us a sense of pleasure and reward, and with the help of serotonin, we feel happier. Increased oxygen and blood flow to the brain helps us think clearer. This is why we feel so refreshed and restored after an Essentrics workout!
Here are 5 ways our gentle, slow-paced workouts
will help you to relax and unwind:
1- We are able to tune in to our body’s needs: cues like “soften the shoulders” or mindfully relaxing specific muscles help to relieve tension.
2- It is a much-needed time-out: our focus shifts away from worries and to-do lists, helping us reset.
3- When we enjoy moving, we smile – even laugh! – signaling to the body that it is safe and able to relax. We feel confident, optimistic, and more open to finding better solutions for whatever is causing us stress.
4- The heat created from movement improves circulation and flushes out toxins from the chronic contraction of our muscles (think headaches caused by a tight neck). Inflammation is reduced and connective tissue becomes pliable, allowing the body to heal.
5- Gentle exercise helps regulate our heart rate and blood pressure, so that when we do feel stressed, our bodies stay strong and recover faster – we no longer feel the residual effects of stress.
Regular exercise helps us become more resilient and better equipped to meet the challenges of the season in a healthy way! With your new-found knowledge of the amazing benefits of movement for relaxing and genuinely enjoying the holiday season, set an intention to make exercise a daily priority.
Contributing writer Dr. Nanette Tummers, Level 4 Essentrics® Instructor
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Release & Relax Before the Holidays program!