Life can be overwhelming, not to mention stressful.  These days it seems everyone is feeling maxed out and many report that they feel stress on a daily basis and it is getting in the way of living a happy, fulfilling life!  In fact…

33% of Americans report feeling like they are living with EXTREME stress

If you count yourself as one of them, you are not alone.  Chances are if you are living with extreme stress, it is affecting you both physically as well as mentally!  Let us break down some statistics for you:

Of those who feel extreme amounts of stress, many feel Physical Symptoms including:

  • Fatigue (51%)
  • Headaches (44%)
  • Upset stomach (34%)

Many also suffer from Psychological Symptoms including:

  • Anger (50%)
  • Nervousness (45%)
  • Lack of energy (45%)

While that is certainly no picnic, there is some good news.  Exercise is one of the best things you can do to help relieve stress!  Which means…

OCSC is one of the best places to be!

We thought we would take a look at some of the reasons why exercise is so good at releasing stress below:

  • It is an excellent distraction

Joining your favorite Zumba class each week gives you a 60 minute time block where music & dance become your focus!  This is true for not only any group fitness class but also for your regular fitness center workout routine.  Focusing on the repetitive movements, your breathing and perfecting your technique leave little room for worry about the outside world.

  • It gives you time to just breathe

The simple act of taking a deep breath can lower your blood pressure.  Making time to focus on your breathing during any type of physical activity will have the same affect.  Think about it, when someone is in the middle of a full blown panic attack, one of the first things people tell them to do is breathe.  Taking a Yoga class where the mind-body connection through breathing is the main focus is a great way to relieve the stress of the day!

  • It gives you a natural high

An increased heart rate gives you feel good side effects when mood enhancing endorphins are released!  Running on a treadmill or a cycle class are great ways to get that heart rate up, release stress and leave the club feeling great!

If all of that seems like it is just what the doctor ordered and you are ready to make exercise a part of your life…great!  We would encourage you to get moving.  However we know that there are so many people who want the benefits but just can’t seem to make a commitment.  If this is you, read on.  We’ve got some tips to help making exercise a part of your life a bit easier.

  • Make it an appointment.  That’s right, schedule it in your phone just like you would any other important event! Chances are, once it has a place blocked out on your calendar, it is more likely that you will keep the appointment!
  • Do something you love.  Don’t try what you think will give you the most results or whatever you think is the biggest trend, do what you love!  If you love to dance, try Zumba.  If riding your bike when you were a kid was your favorite thing to do, try a cycle class or utilize one of our stationary bikes in the fitness center!
  • Walk before you can run. Avoid setting a goal that is too hard for you to maintain.  The harder you find it, the higher the likelihood that you will give up.  Plus remember that you are trying to avoid stress, not add to it!
  • Don’t give up.  When it gets hard, and it most likely will…keep at it!
  • Enlist a buddy.  You need people around you to encourage you.  Share with someone the fact that you are going to use exercise to try to relieve some of the stress you have in your life.  Who knows, they may even join you!

OCSC is here to help you accomplish your fitness goals!  Stop by and speak to one of our membership specialists about all of the exciting things OCSC has to offer.  With over 40 group classes a week and a full fitness center with cardio, circuit training and free weights, we are bound to have something that will get you excited and keep you coming back for more!