De-stress your mind and body without killing yourself

Dec 9, 2011, 8:27 a.m.

If you're not concerned about stress management, you should be. We don't say that to freak you out or to put the fear of bad health into your bones. It's just fact. Stress overload can lead to the development of serious health issues, and the older you get, the more important it is that you start embracing certain exercise programs that'll not only keep your body sharp, but your stress level at zilch. Here are three exercises that'll put your mind at ease without putting your body into the hospital.

Yoga: Yoga exercises are ideal for people who suffer from stiff joints. Although to the casual observer yoga exercises may not seem effective enough to warrant their being put on a top three list of best stress relieving exercises, its effects in that regard are surprisingly powerful. Yoga's not just about stretching to relax tense muscles -- it's also about increasing blood flow and approaching exercise from an almost meditative perspective.

Low impact aerobics: Stress relief is dependent on getting your body's endorphins flowing. One of the best ways to do that (without crippling yourself by performing the kind of moves that would challenge an acrobat) is through low impact aerobics. The point here is to get your heart pumping, with less emphasis on toning the body.

Walking: The original exercise, a lot of people tend to take walking for granted. To many, it's what you do to get from one place to another when you have no alternate means of locomotion. But as far as exercise programs go, walking (especially outdoors) combines the ultimate form of low impact all-body exercise with one of the most effective relaxation methods known.

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