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Stress-Busting Tips From Experts
Whether it's taking a nature walk or some deep breaths, activity helps
-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
SATURDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Nobody is immune from the negative health effects of stress. The good news is that staying active is a natural and effective way to reduce stress and avoid related issues like weight fluctuations, nausea and feeling tired, experts say.
"Stress can have many negative effects on the body, such as fatigue, headaches, upset stomach, insomnia, weight loss or gain, muscle tension, and elevated heart rate and blood pressure. You need to find an activity that helps reduce your stress," Jane Roy, an associate professor of human studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Education, said in a university news release.
"A single bout of aerobic exercise appears to affect a particular neurotransmitter that has an antidepressant-like effect in the brain, and the increase in blood flow to the working muscles causes a decrease in muscle tension," she explained.
Roy, who plays tennis for relaxation, added that it's also a great distraction because she is focused on the game and not the stressors in her daily life.
"When playing, I have to focus on things like the ball, strategy, score and skill, and not on whatever is causing me to feel stressed," she said. "I also play with friends, so we chat and laugh a lot on changeovers."
Not a tennis buff? Roy and two colleagues -- Larrell Wilkinson, an assistant professor, and Retta Evans, an associate professor -- provided some alternative suggestions for easing day-to-day stress:
The American Psychological Association explains how stress affects your health.
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