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Stick it to stress--and get fit while you're at it!

 
Being stressed out is the worst.  You feel gross, you’re cranky, and to top it all off, your face is joining in on the madness and totally breaking out. How do you cope? Most people’s reactions to stress are negative ones: You are frazzled, get even more moody and snap at everyone who looks at you wrong.  To feel better, you might even be gorging yourself of things you would never eat under normal situations (that third brownie, for instance).  In the end, though, you feel as bad as before, if not worse.  So try getting through your stress in a way guaranteed to make you feel better in the long run—exercise!

 

You’re stressed because… You’ve got a ton of homework and tests coming up and a hundred other things on your mind.

Why not try… yoga

At first, it might seem like all the peace and quiet of yoga just gives you more time to think about your to-do list. But when you’re om-ing away, strangely enough, your mind clears and focuses on the hear and now: breathing, holding a tough pose and stretching deeper. The best part? You get to pick how far you go, and setting your own limits can make you feel better when everything seems out of control. When you start to feel overwhelmed with the day, set aside 20 minutes to try out some new yoga poses and breathe.  Ahh, now don’t you feel more relaxed already?

 

You’re stressed because… You got in a fight with your BFF and neither of you thinks you need to apologize.

Why not try… kickboxing

Fights with your BFF make you mad and sad all at once.  You’re pretty sure that she was the one who was wrong, but you still miss her.  Instead of fighting with her, grab a punching bag and take your frustrations out on that.  You’ll work up a sweat and get your heart rate up (which releases endorphins to make ya feel better), but you’ll also be able to get mad without anyone yelling back. After a couple sessions of beating up a punching bag, you’ll be ready to make peace with your bestie, even if you still think it wasn’t your fault. 

 

You’re stressed because… Your parents are fighting and your little bro won’t stop playing Ding, Dong, Ditch on your bedroom door.

Why not try… running

When conflict pops up, everyone’s mind goes into fight or flight mode, and when the problem is your family, fighting is never a good option.  Instead, when the fam is driving you up a wall, throw on your running shoes and head out for a jog. Running outside not only gives you the opportunity to get out of the house and away from the source of your stress, it gives your body a chance to get rid of the extra energy you have from being tense.  One or two laps around the block and you’ll be feeling better.  Head home once your water runs out or you feel better, whichever comes first. 

BY KATE GERAGHTY ON 10/15/2012 2:34:00 PM

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