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Message to all: Go easy on the stress

Gyms are starting to incorporate stress classes into their curriculum. PHOTO/ALLISON WHITEHEAD

BY ALLISON WHITEHEAD
OU News Bureau

While everyone deals with stress, too much of it can affect the body.

“Seventy-seven percent of people experience physical stress symptoms and 73 percent psychological symptoms,” said Kimberly Batko, a lifestyle coach and group instructor at the Downriver Family YMCA in Southgate.

She added that stress can lead to health problems and worsen other illnesses.

“The statistics say it causes 60 percent of all illness,” Batko said. “It makes you have a higher chance of heart disease by 40 percent, heart attack by 25 percent and stroke by 50 percent.”

Kimberly Batko

Relieving stress for some might be as easy as taking a deep breath or doing routine exercise. But that might not work for everyone.

Strategies to combat stress have emerged online and in health clinics. Whether it is work, school or family, everyone experiences stress.

“I’m here for anxiety because I worry about everything,” said Kate Kanalos of Riverview, who was attending a stress-reduction class.

Stress takes a toll on the body. Batko said people don’t cope with stress in the right way. Instead, they smoke or eat fatty foods. Most don’t even look at stress as a health issue.

“Meditation and breathing are important because as a society, we do not relax or give ourselves adequate care,” Batko said. “Our brains and bodies tend to be over stimulated. This is especially true of millennials.”

This age group can’t get away from the pressures of social media, which, Batko added, is negatively affecting their health. These pressures can include keeping up with it and always trying to look good enough. This makes it hard for them to unplug.

Adults say that there are negative impacts of stress on their physical and mental health, according to the American Psychological Association. Hospitals and yoga studios are adding these to their curriculum, and gyms are following. A class at the YMCA in Southgate teaches multiple strategies to reduce stress.

Qigong, for example, is gentle exercise involving repeated movements and stretching of the body to help increase circulation of fluid and build awareness, according to Energy Arts. Other classes like tai chi and yoga are offered, as well.

“Qigong works on different levels,” Batko said. “People who practice meditation actually change the structure of the brain.”

Stress is closely related to the brain. The hormone cortisol, also called the stress hormone, creates a cycle through the brain, according to Psychology Today. It explains the connection between parts of the brain and how chronic stress can lead to long-term effects.

Looking for ways to reduce stress is important because it can aid in a healthy lifestyle.

 “People should find something that works for them,” Batko said. “It has to be personalized.”

 

 

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Posted by on Nov 16 2017. Filed under Featured article, Oakland County. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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