By Chioma Umeha
Oil your body through exercise
The type of exercise depends on your choice, but it must be something that you like to do which would allow you to exhaust energy.
A friend once boasted that he exercises regularly. How¬ever, when I probed him on the type of exercise he indulges in? I was surprised to learn that his exercise constitutes less than three minutes interval walk from the ground floor to the first floor of his apartment.
Please, don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to condemn him, but it doesn’t commiserate with his daily exercise re¬quirement.
Exercise regimens have a way of slowing down the effect of stress, and afford one the opportunity to operate in nor¬malcy. The cost of enrolling in a gym or fitness programme is infinitesimal when compared to the cost of health care or loss in production.
Stress and Diet
Stress is a brain drain and if it is left uncontrolled, can lead to various illnesses. When you are under stress, the brain would send a signal to the adrenal glands to release hormone called cortisol that may be responsible for craving of foods rich in fat and sugar – comfort food.
As these foods are consumed, they tend to counteract the effect of stress in the brain. Cortisol is responsible for increase in appetite or craving to eat.
Research has also shown that when people are stressed, they tend to make bad choices of unhealthy snack.
Have you heard the saying that, you are what you eat? Believe it or not, it is true and your diet can make a difference in your life. Good food which is often called ‘Happy Foods’ are responsible for lowing one’s stress level.
Let us examine some of the foods considered as brain boosters. These foods are rich in nutrients and leave you with less bully fat.
Vitamin C: This category includes – green pepper, straw¬berry and berries, orange juice, brussels sprout which are enriched with vitamin C. They are known to boost the im¬mune system and help you ward off stress.
Foods like plain yogurt, salmon, chicken, oatmeal and asparagus produce vitamin B and enhance the neurotrans¬mitters – serotonin, dopamine, and GABA. These neurotrans¬mitters are called “feel good hormones.”
Are you often tensed and apprehensive? Try almond seed, spinach, and sunflower. These are enriched with magnesium which helps you relax.
Take time off your job
To many Nigerians, vacation time is at Christmas break. Sadly, when such time comes, it is often consumed with fes¬tive activities that are quite stressful. Christmas break should be separated from vacation time. The vacation time should entail a complete break from everything, which may tax the very energy that you were trying to rejuvenate.
A perfectly planned and expensive vacation can be ruined by mixing it up with business. Vacation should be a period to reset your mind so that when you return to work, you should feel re-energised.
Learning to use your afternoon break wisely prolongs life and improves job performance. Walking out of the work environment is a good way of refreshing your mind if you do not desire to eat lunch. Lunch time which comes in between work hours is there for your good and therefore must be utilised maximally.
Religious activities add value to any stress relieving mea¬sure that any one may chose. It offers a sense of belonging and the ability to seek a higher being for solution.
Finally, remember that stress is real and does affect your job performance. Learn to control your stress level through good diet, exercise and relaxation.