How to Beat Wedding Stress While Getting Fit
If wedding planning has you so tense that you can barely remember to eat a meal or work out, then it’s time to reevaluate how to beat your stress. Why not eliminate your worries while achieving your fitness goals? It turns out that there are plenty of ways to do both at the same time and science proves it.
Check out these six tips for a healthy body and mind.
Photo by Stephen Seward
You already know that running is good for you for a whole host of reasons and stress relief should on that list of benefits. To paraphrase a study in The Journal of Neuroscience, moving major muscle groups protects the brain from the negative side-effects of stress. Plus, in the study, runners were calmer, cooler, and more collected than non-runners when put in a stressful situation. Of course, running also improves flexibility, cardio endurance and can aid with weight loss. So, go hit the treadmill!
We know you’re probably freaking out at the thought of abandoning your morning latte, but hear us out. Caffeine can increase levels of cortisol (the “stress hormone”) and make it harder to sleep. Plus, more caffeine can lead to hard-to-resist cravings for fat and carbs, which you know you don’t really need. If you have to have your daily dose, indulge right before a workout because the caffeine will give you the energy you need for exercise.
Technically speaking, weight lifting is actually a stressor for your muscles — physical strain is how you gain muscle. While you’re toning up and burning calories, your body produces more endorphins, which relieve mental burdens, according to Livestrong. To get as much endorphin power out of your weightlifting mesh as possible, do multi-joint exercises (like squats and bench presses) and be sure to rest at least a minute between sets.
We probably don’t need to tell you how important sleep is… but we’re going to anyway. Unfortunately, when it comes to stress, sleep is sort of a catch-22. Anxiety and worry makes it harder to wind down, but getting a bad night’s sleep increases stress hormones, according to Shape. Plus, getting less-than-enough shut-eye can undo the effects of dieting, while more sleep can restore muscle tissue. It’s easier said than done, but prioritizing rest will make you look and feel better in the long run. Set a bedtime for yourself — and go ahead and catch some z’s with the extra hours.
You don’t have to be an actual ballerina or J.Lo to make dance a form of fitness in your life. Everyday Health. confirms that turning on some tunes, grabbing a dance partner and moving to your heart’s content can actually relieve pressure. And that’s on top of all its other health benefits, like burning calories, improving cardiovascular health, and helping you lose weight. Wedding planning bonus: you and your partner can practice your first dance in the process.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that yoga helps with both stress relief and physical fitness. Because yoga exercises both the body and the mind, it’s super efficient for improving overall wellness. The trick is picking the right type of yoga: hath, slow-flow, or restorative practices will really aid in relaxation. Meanwhile, vinyasa and ashtanga styles are better for strength and endurance.