Stress and exercise

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:50 pm
Everyone should have a repertoire (REP-er-twar) of stress-reducing techniques, and exercise is one of the best. A body lacking in physical stamina is in no shape to handle stress. An exercise tune-up can increase your emotional as well as your physical strength. Exercise enhances, rather than saps, your energy; It also has a distinct relaxing effect. Stress declines as physical exercise increases. In fact, stress has a substantial debilitating effect on physical and emotional health among those who exercise infrequently, but not among those who exercise regularly. An exercise program can help relieve the anxiety and tension common among people in high-pressure jobs and difficult life circumstances, possibly diminishing the psychological factors that increase the risk of heart attack. In general, exercise promotes a sense of well-being by enhancing ego strength, dissipating anger and hostility, relieving boredom, and resolving frustration. Exercise can help make stress manageable in your life, but it's important to remember to do it safely. For anyone over thirty-five or with a history of ill-health, especially heart disease, a complete physical and stress test is mandatory before starting a vigorous exercise program. For more information on stress and exercise, talk with medical and fitness professionals.

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