In honor of April being Stress Awareness Month, the 5 WayFit team is happy to bring about awareness to this chronic illness that plagues most Americans, 1 in 5 to be exact. Nowadays, it is rare to hear anyone say they are not stressed. People almost admit with pride of being constantly stressed, busy, and sleep deprived. However, rarely do people seem to mind that stress left unchecked can contribute to many health problems, such as strokes, heart attacks, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.

Here are top 5 habits to relax and de-stress your way to a healthier you!

1.    SLOW DOWN – It’s okay and even encourage to take “rest” days where you don’t try to be as productive. Learn to be okay with a slower pace & disconnect from technology. If you don’t have time to take a day-long break, do a short meditation session daily to allow you space from the hectic-ness of life.

2.    AVOID PROCESSED FOODS – Foods high in sugars and fat are the worst foods to turn to in stressful situations, since they can cause our bodies to release stress hormones, making us feel more stressed and lethargic. Junk food, fried foods, artificial sweeteners and foods with lots of preservatives are also detrimental on our stress levels. Instead, eat healthy, well-balanced meals full of high-fiber foods, along with fruits and vegetables, specifically citrus fruit with plenty of fiber and vitamin C, which is a stress-busting antioxidant.

3.    GET ENOUGH SLEEP – We can’t ignore the obvious. We don’t get enough sleep to recharge and prepare our bodies for the upcoming day full of checklists & errands. Try to get at least 7-9 hours a night, depending on what your body needs.

4.    SURROUND YOURSELF WITH LOVE – The daily dose of family & friendship can do amazing things! They provide us with belonging, purpose, and a safe space that can help combat our stress.

5.    ENGAGE IN DAILY ACTIVITY – Regular physical activity can relieve mental and physical tension. Physically active adults have lower risk of depression and loss of mental functioning.

Bottom Line: TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF

You feel better when you are in control of your lifestyle, habits, and body. At 5 WayFit, we can help you manage your stress! Take one of our Candlelight Yoga sessions Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday evenings to unwind after a long day or try our StateStreet Boxing classes Monday through Friday mornings to start your days off right, proactively fighting for your health!

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