How to use food and fitness to combat stress

February 7, 2013

For many Americans today, stress may seem like a fact of life. We cram our days full of commitments and activities. And although a little stress may be good for productivity, too much of it can lead you on a dangerous path. From premature aging to an increased risk of chronic disease, the health risks of too much stress outweigh the benefits. So if you’re lacking in vacation time and have a surplus of stress, hop on your TRUE Fitness equipment and follow these healthy tips:

Exercise, exercise, exercise!
Exercise can be a huge stress reliever. It pumps up endorphins and improves your mood, and can be vital to maintaining mental as well as physical fitness. Try to hop on your TRUE Fitness treadmill three to five times a week for 30 minutes, and be consistent! The TRUE M50 Treadmill comes with seven preset and two custom fitness programs, so it’s perfectly designed to help you achieve the consistency you need to combat stress.

What to drink
Beverages like green tea, milk and orange juice can be helpful in the battle against stress. Green tea contains the amino acid theanine, which has been proven to relax the mind and reduce stress. The calcium in milk can help regulate your mood, and the vitamin C found in citrus has been shown to decrease the physical and psychological effects of stress.

What to eat
You may have been warned against stress eating in the past (and we’re certainly not telling you to grab a pint of ice cream to lighten your mood), but there are certain foods you can pack away to reduce stress without packing on the pounds. Fish rich in Omega 3s such as salmon and tuna have been shown to reduce anxiety, and leafy greens containing magnesium (like spinach and cabbage) will also help calm your nerves. Carbohydrates can also boost your mood, so reach for some oatmeal in the morning.

Dessert too!
OK, we may not normally advise you to eat sweets, but there may be a good reason you reach for a bar of chocolate when you’re feeling frazzled: dark chocolate contains antioxidants that reduce stress. And if that isn’t reason enough to treat yourself, studies have shown eating chocolate regularly can reduce the level of stress hormones in your body. So go ahead, treat yourself!