Xen-Do’s Detox and Fitness Guide for 2015 – Part three: Stress and psychological health
In Part 3 of Xen-Do’s January series of detox and fitness guide for making positive changes that you can stick with, here, Louise O’Driscoll, Xen-Do’s affiliated Holistic Health Coach gives us ideas of ways to reduce stress and find a little peace in our busy lives.
Many of us are conscientious about our workouts, heading to a Xen-Do Kickboxing and Martial Arts Club or the gym regularly, but all too often we neglect our stress levels and mental health, which can be just as important. Kickboxing and Martial Arts are amazing for taking your mind off work and personal concerns and can be a great form of stress release, so don’t neglect your sessions there, but also consider what might provide a sense of peace and escape from the adrenaline. Great ways of doing this include;
Walking outside regularly, especially through the winter. Research suggests that exposure to the natural world, including green spaces in cities, helps improve our health, happiness and intellectual capacity in ways that science doesn’t yet fully understand. There is no doubt that we need a regular dose of Vitamin D but fresh air, greenery and sky provides us with a reconnection to the natural world that we can miss out on hurrying from cars or buses to centrally heated offices and homes. Try and walk, if only for 20 minutes at lunchtime, at least 2 or 3 times a week…and leave your phone behind, enjoy the peace!
Find a creative activity that you enjoy and practice it, no matter how bad you think you are at it! What are you drawn towards? It could be singing, dancing, cake making, writing, making up games with children, amateur dramatics, interior design..the list is long! People who participate in creative activities gain a sense of balance and control. They often experience a sense of integrity and personal growth, leading to improved self-esteem. It can also be a way of processing difficult emotions and being observant in the same way as meditation.
Try doing yoga – there are a myriad of different forms of yoga that vary from the intensely ‘om’ kind to performing asanas with a DJ playing in the studio. I really believe that there is a yoga style out there for everyone and the benefits it provides, physically and mentally, are immense. It is a perfect companion to Kickboxing and Martial Arts, improving your flexibility, core strength, and mental focus, all of which are essential if you enjoy sparring, but which also cross over into all areas of day to day life.
Mindfulness is the buzz word of the moment and with good reason. Defined as ‘the non-judgemental awareness of experiences in the present moment’, it can lower stress, improve concentration and focus, help us process difficult emotions and pain, lowers the risk of depression and helps us sleep better. It has also been shown to slow down the rate at which our brains age and can reduce blood pressure. Check out the ‘Headspace’ app or the book, ‘Mindfulness; a Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World’, which comes with a CD for guided meditation.
Founder of Xen-Do with three Kickboxing and Martial Arts Clubs in London, Dai Master Raf agrees, ”the hardest fight is that with the warrior within your mind. Our Xen-Do training programme is now so refined that you could achieve more in one hour than most alternative exercise programmes. By following the Xen-Do path and Louise’s tips you will get off to a great start in 2015 and never look back.”
Are you or a friend looking to improve your fitness? Will you be looking to take up a new activity in 2015? Xen-Do kickboxing and martial arts clubs in London offer a free trial lesson where you can experience our unique ‘hybrid’ training system that delivers chart topping exercise, progress in martial arts and a great feeling of self confidence in a one hour lesson, book your free trial now and take advantage of special membership offers available now.
This article is based on opinion:
– the author is not a qualified doctor or anyone who can dispense medical advice.
– any opinions stated are just that and people should consult a doctor before making any dietary changes or changes of any nature prompted by the articles published by or on behalf of Xen-Do.
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– any opinions stated are that of the author and do not represent the opinions of Xen-Do.