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An Athlete’s Guide to Conquering Stress

Stress that is left hanging in the balance inside the body can cause plenty of health problems. Muscle tension is just the tip of the ice berg. Stress can impact the body which can range from oxidative stress, premature aging, inflammation and chronic diseases. It can also ruin your performance as a recreational athlete. This is the reason why we all should know how to manage our stress. We need to control stress to save a life, who knows the life you’re going to save could be yours. The following are few of the many tips that will help cope better with stress and continue to perform at your best.

Diet

Diet plays an important part in handling stress. It is best to have complex carbohydrates and less of simple sugars. This way the blood sugar remains low and blood sugar spikes are prevented. At the same time, take out sodium in your diet. Blood pressure and stress are strange bedfellows. Stress makes blood pressure reading go off the charts. Processed food should be avoided and eat more of natural foods such as fruits and vegetables. Get some lean meat and fatty fish at least two servings per week. It is important for any athlete, professional or just recreational to get the proper nourishment.

Smoking

Smoking kills and it does not make you feel relaxed. Studies show that smoking can cause great anxiety, which is contrary to popular perception. Smoking will not only make you sick but it can actually make your stress condition worse. It seems that people that are able to quit are better in stress control than those who smoke, according to a recent study on smoking habits and behavior. Smoking is a no-no for any person, whether you’re an athlete or not.

Laughter

Laughing is the best medicine. And it can be good for your mind and mood. Cheer up! Be positive. Attract the good things and stay away from the negativity. Laughter can bring happiness. Even if you fake the smile, it can still do wonders to the mind and body. Any smile can deflect stress and anxiety away.