Get Fit: Taking stress out of the holidays

This week's Get Fit Pledge is to 'de stress' your holidays. Stress can be bad for your health.

In times of stress, the powerful hormone adrenaline pours into your blood stream, getting your body to take drastic action. Your heart speeds up. Your blood pressure rises, and your digestive system shuts down.

Stress can make chronic conditions worse, and stress can aggravate just about any illness: blood pressure, heartburn, digestive problems, eating disorders, increased sensitivity to pain, tense muscles leading to headaches, neck aches and back pains, and depression.

It can also lead to what wellness coach Brandy Sitzman calls emotional eating.

"You think when you're stressed or overwhelmed, 'I want to grab that chocolate chip cookie or I want to grab the pizza or french fries."

Brandy's favorite de stressor?

"I'm a firm believer in exercise. It really does help my stress level. Just go out, pick your favorite exercise, even if it's just fifteen minutes a day."

You can pick whatever it takes to de stress and get rid of the rush of adrenaline. Be willing to cut out activities and obligations. Learn stress management techniques like meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation. Don't rob your body of proper nutrition, and don't rely on caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, fat, and sugar to cope with stress.

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