Movement, Meditation & White Space: Health Coach Says Give These A Try When Facing Pandemic-Related Stress – CBS Denver

Posted: February 13, 2021 at 10:54 pm

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(CBS4) If you didnt already know, February is American Heart Month. It encourages us to look at how we can better take care of our hearts, especially amid the stress the pandemic has brought into our lives. Certified health coach and regular CBSN Denver contributor Erica Ballard has a few tried and true tools to help decrease stress and increase heart health. One is daily movement and that does not mean intense exercise.

I dont mean long HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts or long cardio workouts, that can actually work against us when were really stressed out, she told CBSN Denvers Kelly Werthmann. When I say movement, I mean basic movement like walking, yoga, things of that nature.

The reason its so important, particularly for stress management, is that when we get stressed out our body pumps out cortisol and adrenaline and glucose because its preparing to move. Hence why its called the fight or flight response. So when we get up and move right when that stress is building, it gives us that glucose, that cortisol, that adrenaline, an outlet which then dissipates the stress response in the body.


Another stress reliever is meditation. Erica said its one of the best ways to manage stress, yet so few people act on this advice.

Meditation teaches us how to stay calm in the most chaotic places on the planet our minds, she said. I always like to tell people less is better. Meditating for 10 minutes is a really long time when youre getting started. So consider meditating one, two, three, maybe 5 minutes a few times a week to get used to the practice.

Erica said guided meditations available on a variety of apps are also helpful for those new to meditation.

Theres no need to be a hero start where you are and allow yourself to build the muscle to medicate more regularly, she said.

Also, if youre looking to reduce stress give yourself white space throughout the day, Erica says. That means break away from our devices.

Were all on our devices all the time and when were on our devices all the time, our brain and body are on all the time, Erica explained. But our brain and body are not designed to be on all the time. They need a break.

What this looks like is walking without our phone or listening to music with our phone on the other side of the room. Creating that white space, even though it will feel like youre doing nothing, youre actually going to get a lot more done because youre giving your brain and body time to be.

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Movement, Meditation & White Space: Health Coach Says Give These A Try When Facing Pandemic-Related Stress - CBS Denver

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February 13th, 2021 at 10:54 pm

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