Attending a trade show this week, the show had a whole section dedicated to relaxation techniques to help in the pursuit of overall health and fitness. For years, I’ve had a daily regiment that includes relaxation techniques. I also suffer from Chronic Fatigue/Fibromyalgia so that also helps with my medical conditions but I hadn’t thought of how relaxation might contribute to overall health and fitness.
After speaking with a number of people over the years and a few PhD holders at the show, they are starting to convince me that if your goal is overall health and fitness, relaxation needs to be a vital component of your daily routine. The seminal study was done in the 1970’s when Harvard was researching blood pressure. Dr. Herbert Benson, who is an MD, studied the effects of meditation on blood pressure and was startled when he discovered that one could actually reduce their blood pressure with only the use of meditation.
The point of the matter is that the researchers are finding that stress is the conduit to all kinds of maladies. According to research done by the Massachusetts General Hospital, stress can make worse or incite a number of health issues including high blood pressure, sleeplessness, headaches, backaches, IBS, strokes, cancer, and heart attacks as well as heart disease.
What can we do about this? First, you can get some books on guided meditation that will cost you nothing if you borrow them from the library or they are available at a low cost from bookstores. Any type of stretching routine, deep breathing, and the like will be helpful to reduce stress. All practitioners tell us that if you want to reduce stress, stop watching so much of the news!
There are also a number of other ways to reduce stress. Back, a couple of years ago, I put a massage chair in my office and plan on wearing it completely out. There are a number of other less expensive tools that can be used to reduce stress including pressure point therapy devices, neck support devices, and cold and heat therapy devices. I’m also planning on investigating aromatherapy devices to see if that can help reduce my stress levels. Even when I couldn’t afford to do it, I bought a hot tub for the help of the hot water therapy that the tub could provide. I’ve worn out a couple of these and it helps that I can fix them to make their lifespan go on for years past their normal useful life.
So what does this mean to you? It means that just like a fitness routine, a relaxation routine is infinitely variable, perfectly customizable, and can be perfectly suited to your lifestyle. You don’t have to buy a hot tub, a massage chair, or any expensive program. You can craft a relaxation routine that is perfectly suited to your specific situation and that can be done without buying a single thing. The most important thing to do is realize that relaxation might be the missing piece to your health and fitness program.