Saturday, January 21, 2012

Staying Healthy and Active: A Great Stress Reliever (By: Kristin Wells - guest blogger)

As a military wife, it is hard to live your life as usual while having to deal with the knowledge that your husband is thousands of miles away in a foreign and dangerous country. It is common for women in this situation to suffer from problems with depression, anxiety and stress. However, leaving negative emotions unaddressed is well known to lead to things like heart problems, cancer, increased susceptibility to infection, weight gain, emotional eating habits and chronic fatigue.

Fortunately, keeping these negative feelings at bay is as simple as being physically active. Numerous scientific studies have found that people who exercise daily tend to be emotionally better adjusted and have fewer health problems than those who did no exercise at all. Besides making you feel better, physical activity will transform your appearance and give you something to surprise your husband with when he comes home! Here are some great exercises you can do to prevent negative feelings and how they help.

Weight-Bearing Exercise

Although the fitness world still has a way to go in regards to its opinions on women and weight lifting, it is a very beneficial type of exercise for several reasons. Primarily, it drives up levels of testosterone and dopamine, which promote feelings of confidence, relaxation and resilience. Growth hormone levels also increase, which helps your body burn fat and gain muscle more efficiently. A study by the AAOS has shown that women are more susceptible to bone loss than men and often times have to work harder to keep the bone density they currently have. Weight training can even make certain tasks easier to perform without a man's help by significantly increasing strength, stamina and energy.


Walking is a leisurely and relaxing way to exercise. If you route your walks through attractive areas, they can be a very therapeutic and soothing experience. Another great of walking is that it serves to boost your metabolism, which causes your body to burn fat even while you're resting. Going for a walk after meals is also very beneficial to mood and health. It stimulates digestion, which prevents heartburn as well as improving nutrient absorption. Having poor digestion could exacerbate a current stomach conditions, such as Peritoneal Mesothelioma. The more nutrients you absorb from food, the better you will feel because many of them are heavily involved in the production of mood-enhancing neurotransmitters.


My personal favorite. Yoga could easily qualify as the best form of exercise to enhance your mood and benefit your health. It focuses on concentration and deep breathing, which help to soothe stress and anxiety. Many Mesothelioma cancer patients find Yoga to be an invaluable therapy in relieving anxiety associated with Chemo. Yoga also helps to keep you limber, as well as improving blood flow and muscle tone. It is also a low impact activity. Yoga was great for me because I hurt my knee on uneven payment when running last year, so Yoga was an activity I could still do regularly without exacerbating the problem. It was also great to stretch that area with Yoga regularly, which I believed cut my rehab time down considerably.

~Kristin Wells

Kristin Wells is a recent college graduate from The University of Georgia and an aspiring writer. She wants to make a difference in people's lives through her writing. Kristin also enjoys competitive cycling, running, and traveling as much as possible.

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