Lose stress, lose unwanted weight

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Identifying your stress triggers is one of the first steps to relieving some of that stress.

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Sisters Carol Polka (left) and Rose Marie Ricci participate in physical therapy at the Ingalls Family Care Center in Flossmoor as part of their rehab for their knee replacements. | Supplied photo

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Managing stress is one of the most important factors in weight management. By reducing the amount of stress in your daily life, you greatly increase the chance to improve your overall health for a lifetime. Less stress means a greater chance to lose weight through:

Increased emotional interest in working out.

Less time per week spent working out to reach your fitness goals.

More consistency in the number of healthy food choices you make.

Considerable improvement to the general health of your cardiovascular system.

Think of de-stressing as a weekly experience. There are five key ways to de-stress known as the “Five “Ps” to De-Stress”:

1. Perform breathing exercises throughout the day

Close your eyes and breathe through the nose for a full count of 10. Focus your thoughts on each breath you take. Then, breathe out through the mouth for a full count of 10. Next time, count to 10 slower. Continue to practice expanding your lungs and relaxing your mind with each session.

2. Periodically check your posture

Did you know that the better aligned your body is, the more energy your body generates? Better alignment leads to better motion that leads to improved energy. Practice standing and sitting up tall — shoulders relaxed and directly over your hips, knees in a straight line above the feet, and the feet straight. Correct your posture several times throughout the day.

3. Participate in a mind and body class

There are many class options from which to choose. Consider classes that strengthen the body while comforting the mind. Gentle yoga, Pilates 101, stretching/flexibility and Tai Chi are just a few. Notify the instructor of your conditions and level of conditioning before the class begins.

4. Pick up some healthy resistance

There is such a thing as positive stress for the body. Exercise is one of the best examples of this. By using something as simple as your own body weight, or with the assistance of strength training machines, you can generate resistance that converts the burdens of the day that drain the mind into a positive load that strengthens the body. Try a strength and motion class or cardio bootcamp. Ask a training professional to give you an orientation to properly utilize the strength machines.

5. Partake in group smiles and laughter

The best medicine for the body is sometimes simply turning a frown upside down. Surround yourself with individuals that will give you a healthy dose of stimulating conversation and year-round cheer.

By applying the Five “Ps” to De-Stress on a regular basis, you will see your energy jump and your inches drop. There is no better place to achieve all of these successes than at St. James Health & Wellness Institute, not your “typical” health club!

At St. James HWI, a full-service spa and fitness center, we supply a wide selection of options to “Lose the Stress – Lose the Weight.” With our state-of-the-art fitness equipment, over 90 classes available to members every week, spa-quality locker rooms with whirlpools, steam rooms, saunas, and private massage rooms, St. James HWI provides a full mind and body experience. No matter what health condition you are managing, or what condition you are in, our expert and customer-friendly staff welcome the opportunity to partner with you in reaching your fitness goals.

Join the charm and wonder of the “St. James Experience.” Give us a call and be our guest for a day and experience all we have to offer. Come for the experience. Stay for the camaraderie. Enjoy the results.

More information at St. James Health & Wellness Institute, 100 197th Place, Chicago Heights, is at (708) 755-3020 or online at sjhwi.org.

Provided by St. James Health & Wellness Institute