Hop, skip and jump toward less stress….

I have just looked into purchasing my first blood pressure monitor primarily for those clients who have not visited a doctor for a while and come to me for stress consultancy. They will use it to see if they are just feeling stressed or if they actually have some related hypertension (high blood pressure) too and if this is the case I will be asking them to go and see their doctor, so we can incorporate any of the physiological findings into developing a safe comprehensive stress management program together.

The reason that this is important is that exercise is Intervention #4 of the comprehensive stress model that I work with and as we know for those of us that have led sedentary lives we need to ease into exercise and may need some professional support before doing so.

As ever the irony is not lost on me, while exercise is very much part of the model I work with – where I support and respect it in my Stress consultancy and Coaching practice, I am not known for my ‘active lifestyle’. Last Thursday a friend driving past my house left an incredulous voicemail on my cell phone “OMG.. did I just see bikes strapped to the back of your vehicle?…NO… Did someone else move in? Did someone kidnap you and take your car?…What’s going on there? No.. this is odd.. call me….”

I personally have never had that pull toward a gym and even though I have been known in the past to lay prone on a yoga mat and take private pilates lessons, today it is time to walk (or in my case ride) my own talk and ease back into some fun exercise. I actually have an inkling that this side of me makes me entirely more approachable to consult on stress; I am completely non judgmental about my clientele’s current exercise regimes, instead the intention of the fourth intervention, the one that involves exercise is to work together to find something that works for the individual.

Now what follows is NOT an idea for those of us ‘easing back into exercise’ or for the unfit, but it is something that I can no longer ignore as it seems to be permeating my every online experience (give whoever did the marketing a round of applause)…’The Human Race’ is almost upon us, a 10K worldwide run sponsored by Nike on August 31st, for information visit The world 10K.

Running isn’t for everyone, but in regard to stress management, psychological benefits aside (just for sake of space as there are many), running is said to reduce hypertension by strengthening the heart and lowering blood pressure, it also encourages you to use the 50% of your lungs that usually go unused; yes deep breathing is VERY important in managing stress… and it also boosts the immune system by creating a higher concentration of lymphocytes which are the white blood cells that attack disease that significantly deplete when we are stressed.

So if you are interested in the whole running thing here are some more websites for your information…

New York Road Runners calendar

Training site for the Los Angeles Marathon

Ramp up for the October Marathon in Detroit

And if you are someone who is interested in keeping your kids healthy and entertained over the summer check out this site, British heart foundation activities for healthy kids

In a post back in May I asked what your intentions were for Summer ’08, could getting healthy and having less stress in your life be part of that intent?

P.S. If you are interested in all 5 steps of the simple comprehensive stress model that I use just leave a comment or pop me an email at candice@redbarncoaching.com and I will send you a free copy so you too can begin to be in control of your stress. And shiney new monitor aside, if you feel that you are in need of some one-on-one stress consultancy, appointments are available via phone too.

P.P.S Transcript of voicemail printed entirely without permission because that’s just what happens when you leave such sarcastic messages!

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3 Responses to “Hop, skip and jump toward less stress….”

  1. 1 Sue Massey July 28, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Do you do blogroll exchanging? If you want to exchange links let me know.

    Email me back if you’re interested.

  2. 2 Bridget July 28, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    *Sigh* I do miss running so! However, I have taken up biking…uphill, and it is very exciting as well.

  3. 3 Petra July 28, 2008 at 8:46 pm

    Love it! I really enjoyed this one very much and while I agree with everything you say, I personally HATE (yes, strong word, I know) RUNNING! For many, many reasons (boring being on top of my list), but it’s actually really not all that good for you – especially on your knees! Did you know, when running, the impact on your knee joints is that of 2.5x of your body weight! That’s a lot of stress (talk about stress) on your knees. Most people I know absolutely love to run… I usually just stare at them asking “WHY??????”

    Just wanted to share.

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