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Stay (or get) Physically Active to Keep Your Spirits High

A great way to beat the stress of a crappy economy and other such stresses is a simple, free solution of staying physically active. When you’re out there running around, lifting weights, riding a trail, or whatever it is you may enjoy doing you will feel instantly better and feel your stresses wash away. It’s more than just a diversion…it’s also a physiological equation that takes place in your body. When you’re out there being active, your body emits endorphins which give you that natural high. Sure…one could take drugs or turn to alcohol to feel better…but why bother? Why tear your body down, at a financial cost (like we can afford that right now?), when you’ve got a free alternative that is actually good for you.

For years I used to run four or so miles before work. It got to the point where I actually saw the difference in which my day played out based on if I ran or not. Even if it’s cold and rainy out there…just do it. You’ll see that it’s the thought that sucks the most. Once you get out and and actually start the run, you’ll soon get into your groove and get your day started on the right foot. There’s an old saying that goes something like this: You’ll never regret going for a run but you’ll regret not having gone on one.

I’ll admit though…there are times where you’re just too worn out to even fathom doing something physical. If you can just power through that though, it’s so much better. The key is finding something that you’ll enjoy. Partake in a few activities so you can figure out what’s best at that time. For instance…you’re tired. You had a long day. The thought of lifting weights for an hour is just unacceptable to you. However, maybe a run will work. You can take a nice leisurely run or you can sprint it out. Find something that you can fit into your schedule and that you can fit into your particular mood and energy level.

Why do I bring this up? I know that the economy is weighing on everyone’s mind. Our portfolios are shot to hell. Our IRAs and 401Ks are pretty beat up. The employment outlook is bleak. There’s a lot of crap on our minds. And you know what? I’ll admit…I’m stressed as all hell right now. But I know what works for me. Going out and playing a game of soccer works wonders for me. So what if we lose (not that I enjoy losing…but I simply enjoy being out on the pitch). I’m pumping endorphins through my body, I’m building relationships with friends and teammates (and even with opposing players), and I’m clearing my mind. It works wonders.

So…if you’re a stressball, go out and stay active. Don’t let the stresses stop you from doing what you love. If you’ve never been an active person, try it. Maybe a walk, try running. Yoga perhaps. Find something, ANYTHING, that gets the blood moving and in no time you’ll see a marked improvement in your mood.

Cheers to all the people keeping a positive attitude out there.