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to better cope with life’s ups and downs. “Exercise is sometimes stigmatized


as an activity that’s hot, sticky and not fun,” notes Jess Martin, a wellness coordinator with the nationwide network of Healthstat, Inc. clinics, headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. “We encourage our participants to


instead think of exercise as fun. Running, lifting weights and other fitness activities certainly get your heart pumping, but so can less intense forms of exercise. While we encourage everyone to have 30-minute workouts, you can also benefit from shorter intervals, such as two 15-minute or even three 10-minute sessions a day.” As Martin notes, people that work


out with a buddy are more likely to be accountable to an exercise routine. Strengthening healthy social bonds reduces stresses at the same time. “When you don’t exercise, the muscles of the body and the heart atrophy, he says. The more you exercise, the lower the heart rate tends to become, and the more efficient the heart function.”


Daily Do: “Daily exercise should be


as much a part of your routine as meals,” counsels Dr. Gabriela Cora, vice-chair of the Council on Communications for the American Psychiatric Association, author, wellness and well-being coach and former researcher in mood and anxiety disorders at the National Institutes of Health. “This is even truer for busy people, because so many these days are sedentary; everyone needs to find a balance for any lack of energy flow.” She points out that while many tend to think of exercise as a hobby, it is really one of the four pillars of biological health—sleep, relaxation, nutrition and exercise.


Note: Consult with a physician for advice about what exercise and level of intensity is best for you. If you exercise regularly, but anxiety or depression symptoms still interfere with daily life, follow up with a doctor or other qualified mental health provider.


Priscilla Goudreau-Santos is a freelance writer and owner of Priscilla Goudreau Public Relations and Marketing, in Jacksonville, FL. Connect at 904-371- 7751.


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