stress relief daily habits

Healthy & Positive Habits to Protect you from Stress

Exercise and physical activity can help significantly with stress management.

Everyday life can be full of stress. Research has shown that some stress is good for us: it helps us perform at optimal levels. Too much stress, however, can have serious psychological and physiological repercussions.

Research proves that a large chunk of top performers know how to manage their emotions in times of stress so that they remain cool, calm, and able to do what needs to be done. Here are few healthy and positive habits that you may want to develop to fight back stress and be successful!

  1. Drink plenty of water. Dehydration is often overlooked. When our body does not have enough we often feel lethargic, grumpy, and get headaches. We also tend to mistake hunger for thirst, so before digging into another sandwich, vada pao or bag of chips, drink a glass or two of water. Tea, Coffee, cold drinks or flavored drinks do not count as water.
  2. Stay active on a regular basis : Exercise produces natural endorphins, which help put exercise promotes sleepus in a good mood. There is a lot of research that shows that exercise improves mood. If you are stressed, physical activity can get you in the right state of mind to be able to identify the causes of your stress. Exercise won’t make your stress disappear, but it will reduce some of the emotional intensity that you’re feeling, clearing your thoughts and enabling you to deal with your problems more calmly. Exercise will also help you get proper sleep and calm you down.

3. Accept your feelings.If someone close to you has recently died or you can’t be with loved ones, accept that it’s normal to feel sad and grieve. It’s OK to take time to cry or express your feelings. You can’t force yourself to be happy just because you are expected to. Accept your responses and give it some time, whether it is anger, desperation – but acceptance does not always mean expression. You need not burst out in anger or frustration on someone else. When you know you are angry – acknowledge it and follow anger management techniques and let yourself calm down. Success will follow automatically if you can apply this to other everyday emotions too.

4. Stay Positive : Successful people tend to be those who can see opportunity for growth, walking over their failures. Look for lessons to be learnt when something goes wrong, instead of falling in gloom or blame game for what went wrong. Try reframing negative thoughts. If you find yourself dwelling on something negative, try adding, “But what I can learn from this is…” Even just noticing that you’re stuck in a negative thought can help you move away from it. There’s a solution to any problem.stressed is desserts spelled backwards

“Problems are often a question of perspective. If you change your perspective, you may see your situation from a more positive point of view.”

  1. Stay Connected with loved ones : Staying amid the loved ones can help bring down anxiety levels so easily and dramatically. Reach out to people who matter to you every once in a while, they can offer support and friendship. Sometimes talking to someone completely unrelated to your difficult situation (read friend or family) can throw up a beautiful new wayto deal with your stress causing situation !

If the situations do not permit to spend enough time with the family or kids, you may want to keep a pet for company. If you can care for one, they surely can make you feel loved and bust your stress. Pets are regularly used, worldwide as an effective tool in several therapies involving emotions.

  1. Nurture a hobby: No one can lead a stress free life if they keep harping on that one same thing round the clock. Indulging in a hobby that takes away the mind to doing something you feel more passionate about, away from work – gives a good break to the mind to detangle from the drudgeries of everyday anxieties.
  2. Focus on progress, not perfection: No one is perfect. Not even the most successful people on the planet are perfect. Richard Branson, the very famous owner of Virgin Airlines, for example, has had some well-known failures in his time, yet has always been blunt about his belief that you fail quickly, fail big, learn from it, and move on. Many of us are obsessed with perfection, but letting it go may relieve us from a big baggage of stress.
  3. Love yourself : It is important for you to realize that the most important asset you have is your own self and that it must be looked after. Prioritize healthy habits like getting enough sleep, limiting caffeine and alcohol, getting proper exercise, and switching off from technology periodically. A lot of stress can be cut down easily by bringing down any of these – overly tired, overdose of caffeine and alcohol and constant interference of digital life. A truly successful person will strive to find balance to help moderate his stress.
  4. Get organized : One major cause of stress is the number of decisions we have to make in a day. Every decision from whether to wear a solid or a pinstripe shirt, cook a sandwich or salad, send your child to this class or that, all the way up to hiring and firing decisions – they all simply keep adding up to cause stress! Use a ‘to-do’ list; Build up a routine for simple things like answering emails at the same time, checking your social media once a day or even organising your table drawer can help save you from stress for the bigger decisions that really matter.
  5. Work smarter, not harder : Good time management means quality work rather than quantity. Our long-hours culture is a well-known cause of workplace illness. You have to get a work-life balance that suits you. Working smarter means prioritising your work, concentrating on the tasks that will make a real difference to your work. Leave the least important tasks to last.
  6. Remember to laugh: Laughter makes us feel good. Handle Every stressful situation like a dogDon’t be afraid to laugh out loud at a joke, a funny movie or a comic strip, even when you’re alone.Handle Every stressful situation like a dog

Most importantly – Try not to worry. In time, things always get better. The world won’t end if your joblist isn’t all done or your kitchen isn’t cleaned. You may need to do these things, but right now might not be the right time.

I hope you find these tips useful.  I am keen to understand how do you manage stress in your life? I’d love to learn your most successful stress-busters in the comments below.

Contributed by Vaishali Gupta, an avid reader, writer and painter by hobby and an award winning Media Marketer by profession. She has keen interest in staying fit and keeps active despite a slipped disc.

physical activity for good health

The Activity Pyramid: Stay Active in a Fun way

Much easier said than done – Stay Active and Fit for Life! Not all the time. Here are few simple and fun things that you can incorporate in your everyday life and continue to stay Physically Fit and Active.

We call it the Activity Pyramid. Since it is meant to be FUN, it begins right at the bottom with everyday things that you may have known but have ignored implementing them so far!.Start from the bottom and work your way upwards!

 1. If you are Inactive: That is you rarely do any activity, increase your daily activities by:

– Use the staircase in place of the elevator. Start by climbing up the first fllor and then take the elevator to your destination. Add another one floor every second day of your climbing routine to gradually make it all the way up.

– Hide the TV remote. Get up and walk to the TV to adjust the volume or change the channel everytime.

– While standing in a queue, use your time to stretch your body.

– Walk whenever you can even within the house

2. If you are Sporadic:  You are active sometimes but not regularly, try to become consistent by identifying and adding activities that interest you from the middle of the Pyramid, set realistic goals to attain and plan your day so you can achieve your goals.

3. If you are Consistent : If you stay active most of the time, or upto four days in a week, then all you need to do is to keep shuffling your activities from the entire Pyramid so you not get bored and start to lose out.

Whichever stage you are or whatever activities you chose to do, remember to have FUN !!

Because when you indulge in activities that are fun, you are more regular and reduce the chances of injury.

physically fit

Physically Fit : What does it mean?

When you say the words – “Physically Fit” ; the mind begins to immediately picture a smart looking person who has a well-shaped body and is pleasant to look at. But is that all, that is there to being Physically fit?!

Of course, a pleasant looking body is one of the most tangible positive outcome of being Physically fit, but there are a lot of other measures that go into gauging one’s Physical Fitness ! One needs to consider all of these categories to qualify as being Physically Fit!

5 Components of Physical Fitness
5 Components of Physical Fitness
  1. Flexibility : Flexibility is the range of motion of a person, or one’s ability to move joints without feeling any discomfort or pain. There is a certain range of motion for each joint in the human body. Flexibility can be improved by stretching the joints and muscles of the body. Yoga is one of the most popular activity to improve Flexibility.

2. Muscular Endurance: Muscular endurance is the ability of the muscles to perform continuous without fatigue. Example of activities that help build up muscular endurance are cycling, step machines and elliptical machines.

3. Muscular Strength : Muscular strength refers to how much power your muscles have. Simply put, this is how much you can lift or carry. Muscular strength is often improved through strength training like push-ups, bench press etc.

4. Cardiovascular Endurance : The thudding sound you hear in your chest when you run or cycle hard is what points towards your Cardiovascular endurance. Simply put, it is the ability of the heart and lungs to work together to provide the needed oxygen and fuel to the body during sustained workloads. Activities such as brisk walking, running, cycling and swimming usually help improving Endurance. People who have just suffered a cardiac episode are usually advised to go for Cardiac Rehab to build up their endurance in a safe way.

5. Body Composition : Body composition is the amount of fat mass compared to lean muscle mass, bone and organs. One has a physically fit body if he/she has a low body fat and a lot of muscle mass (in addition to meeting the above mentioned categories). Body composition is improved by exercising or working out.

The word of caution here is that all the above categories of Physical fitness can be achieved not just by Exercising and workout alone, it is equally important to achieve it along with proper Nutrition for the body. Irrespective of your current activity levels, you can follow the Activity Pyramid and get started today to be Physically fit soon enough!

stretching exercises

Stretching Exercises : How to Make the Most of it

Stretching for sport and exercise improves flexibility, which increases the ability of a joint to move through its full range of motion; in other words, how far it can bend, twist and reach. This article attempts to guide how to stretch properly and get the most of it.

Stretching is a form of physical exercise in which a specific muscle or tendon (or muscle group) is deliberately flexed or stretched in order to improve the muscle’s felt elasticity and achieve comfortable muscle tone. The result is a feeling of increased muscle control, flexibility, and range of motion. Stretching is also used therapeutically to alleviate cramps.

Here are some of the main benefits of stretching. Hopefully these reasons will inspire you to make it part of your schedule!

For Your Body

  • Helps improve flexibility (increases your range of motion)
  • Assists in correct posture by lengthening tight muscles that pull areas of the body away from their intended position (because of so much time at our computers, many of us have tight chest muscles which pulls the shoulders and head forward, leaving us with a hunched shoulder look)
  • Increases blood and nutrient supply to muscles, thereby possibly reducing muscle soreness

For Your Mind

  • Even a short amount of time (10-15 minutes) of stretching can calm the mind, provide a mental break, and give your body a chance to recharge
  • Classes like yoga or pilates offer you a chance to spend an hour releasing tension physically and mentally

How to stretch properly?

To stretch properly and safely, slowly stretch the muscle just until you feel resistance. Resistance is the point at which you feel a slight pull. It should not be painful. Stop and hold each stretch for 10 to 20 seconds without bouncing up and down.

During the stretch, breathe deeply and regularly. Don’t hold your breath. Make sure your muscles are warmed up before you stretch. The best time to stretch is after exercise, when your muscles are most supple. ReLiva suggests 6 active stretches that you must do.

To get the most out of the stretching you do, here are some suggestions:

Dont Skip the Pre-Workout Stretch

Your muscles should be warm before you begin your stretching. Do a warm-up before a workout that simulates the movements you’ll be doing in order to warm up and prepare your body. Stretch after the workout when your muscles are already warm.

Focus on the Muscles That Need the Most Help

Instead of trying to stretch your whole body after every time you exercise, focus on a key area of the body each time. Spend longer on each stretch and include more stretches for each area. If you are aware of muscles that are tight, then focus on those ones.

Include One Long-Duration Flexibility Session Each Week

Choose a flexibility class, such as yoga, pilates, or do your own flexibility work for 45-60 minutes at least once a week. If you’re having trouble sticking to it, follow these strategies and build it into your schedule/calendar

 

exercising safely in summers

Exercising Safely In Summer

The heat of summer combined with a busy holiday calendar means exercise and workouts fall down the priority list during the summer months of May-June. We’ve put a list together to help you keep active, while taking appropriate precautions to avoid heatstroke.

Hydration
Drink about two cups of water in the 2 hours before exercising. 2-3 cups (500-750 ml) of cool water or sports drink per hour are sufficient for most sports, if you are exercising for 60 minutes or longer. Thumb rule is that Water intake should always balance out the sweat loss during that time.

Avoid the afternoons when it is the hottest
Get up early and exercise before the sun begins to heat-up, or go out in the evenings or later if it is safe to do so. In the heat of the day, take cover under shade. Go for a swim or sign up for an aqua-aerobics class. or workout indoors.


Dress up for the weather
Cotton, cotton, Cotton ! Light weight, light coloured, loose fitting clothes, made of natural fibres or composite fabrics with high absorption property, are recommended as the most appropriate clothing in the heat as the allow ventilation.

Cover up
Always wear sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat when stepping out in the sun.
Wear protective equipment such as helmets, padding and/or mouthguards, where required and remove as soon as activity is finished.

Go easy
You may not be able to push yourself as hard as normal when it’s really hot and humid, so slow down. So a good trick is to start slow and work your way up.

If you’re feeling any of the following, rest immediately:

  • Weakness
  • Light-headedness
  • Dizziness
  • Paling of the skin
  • Headache
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Rapid heartbeat

For people who don’t exercise regularly or those who are at increased risk of heat-related illness should avoid exercising in the heat. Instead, opt for a prescribed, gradual and incremental exercise program. Some medications may also have an effect on your ability to exercise safely in the heat. Always speak to your doctor if you are unsure.

ReLiva Tips for an Injury-free Run

5 Tips to Prepare for an Injury-free Run                                                            

For runners, taking on a run for the first time, the key is to have a solid training base and a detailed plan that allows
for a gradual increase in SPEED as well as DISTANCE.

Too Much. Too Soon. Too Fast

The most common issue that we see is the “Terrible Too’s”. You suddenly get up and start to train without a plan and end up doing “ Too much. Too soon, Too fast”
And that is the most common cause of Injury!
Chalk out a plan of training! Even better, if you do it along with a trained expert. The training plan should strike a balance between speed and strength. It would help you build up stamina, strength and endurance gradually, without causing any injury.

Prevention is better than Cure

Always remember to warm up, before you start running. Many injuries can be avoided by:
warming up  and stretching regularly
Spending 10 minutes to warm up before each run will definitely cost you much lesser time than if you injure yourself and wait back to recover.
However if you do injure, it’s best to see a physiotherapy expert immediately to chalk out a quick recovery plan.

Mix Things Up

It is very easy to get into a habit of running the same route, at the same pace during your training. That begins to limit your muscles and their strength.
“Mix things up!”
Challenge your body with harder runs on certain days and recover at a slower pace another day. This will work-out many more muscles in a much more variety and keep them prepared against injuries.

Keep Moving

Any good training plan needs no more than four days of running or walking every week. That’s not too much to do!
It is important that you don’t overdo it! And equally important, that you keep doing it sincerely! You can make the switch from run & Walk to only run if you
find it too easy. The day you feel, you’re not ready, continue to do walking! But ensure that you ‘Keep Moving’.

Look after your Body

While you train for your run, your body and muscles undergo a lot of wear and tear. Listen to your body! If you are tired, it’s a sign that the body needs rest! Overtraining immediately shows in form of decreased performance and injuries !
Look after your body. Swimming, Sauna or steam room can really help relax and stretch on a bit.

With these 5 things you can easily train for your run without worrying to injure yourself. Enjoy every step that you take to prepare yourself. Remember – “It only makes you stronger and better than what you were before!”

This article is an attempt to make the runners aware of the general thumb rules about running related injuries. These guidelines should not take the place of medical advice if attempting to return to sports following an injury. If an athlete requires assistance during or in the progression of a return to sport program they should consult with their medical expert, or physiotherapist

Running Injury : WARNING signs and Care

Marathon runners push the body’s limit to increase their exercise capacity. But they shouldn’t ignore the vital signs of injury andRunning Injuries- Warning signs and care learn to differentiate a serious injury from a minor one.

This article is an attempt to make the runners aware of the general thumb rules about running related injuries.

Warning Signs of Injury

What pain is ok?

• General muscle soreness

• Slight joint discomfort after workout or next day that is gone in 24 hours

• Slight stiffness at beginning of run or walk that goes away after first 10 minutes

What pain is not okay? (You should not train!)

• Pain that is keeping you awake at night

• Pain that is evident at beginning of run/walk then becomes worse as run/walk continues

• Pain that changes your stride/ style of run

What to do if I get reinjured / injured?

• Ice area: 15-20 minutes several times per day  (RICE Protocol)

• Elevate injured part while icing

• Rest (at least initially)

• Analyze program for possible causes

o What did I do differently in training?                                                     reliva- the official Physiotherapy Partner for Navi Mumbai Mayor's Marathon

o Big jump in speed of running?

o Significant pace increase?

o Shoes worn out? Or change in shoe model?

o Change from all treadmill or soft surface to road running?

• Cross-train on non-impact cardio – follow similar minutes that you were doing running/walking (elliptical or swimming or cycling)

• Determine plan to return to full program, return to running very slowly

• Physical therapist and/or orthopedic

Warning Signs of Overtraining

• Difficulty performing typical workouts for more than a week

• Excessive fatigue

• Higher resting heart rate

• Decreased appetite

• Sorer muscles

• Troubled sleep

• Irritability

• Increased perspiration

• Decreased desire to train

Whether you happened to injure yourself by accident or by over training, do not lose heart. If you reach out to a trained physiotherapist soon enough after the injury, the chances are that you can recover much faster  and get back to your training than if you just sit back and wait for it to heal itself.

These guidelines should not take the place of medical advice if attempting to return to sports following an injury. If an athlete requires assistance during or in the progression of a return to sport program they should consult with their medical expert, or physiotherapist.

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