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Move more to stress less

As we continue to celebrate Stress Awareness Month, let's explore another great way to stress less – move more! It just so happens that April is also Move More month.

My Garmin watch had been "yelling" at me a lot last month (or providing gentle reminders that I hadn't moved each hour). I finally decided to listen, and started walking every day. Since then, I'm on a 14-day streak of achieving my step goal. And what-do-you-know...I feel better!

The American Heart Association recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity (or a combination of both), preferably spread throughout the week.

Moving doesn't have to mean engaging in what you might label as "exercise." For example, 20 minutes of vacuuming is like walking one mile, and 10 minutes of stretching is like walking the length of a football field.

As I read in an article written by Rebecca Branstetter, Ph.D. this week: "What if self-care was about automating and integrating? What if it was about creating systems that make nurturing your own well-being “too small and too easy to fail”?"

Any activity is better than none! Throughout your day, get up from your desk to walk, even if it’s just to the restroom or to get water. If possible, go outside to walk in nature. Moving your body can be a great way to improve your state of mind, and being out in nature can decrease cortisol, the stress hormone.

Most importantly, find activity that you enjoy. You're much more likely to stick with activities that bring you pleasure. Self-care looks different for everyone. Do you! When I'm feeling overwhelmed or stressed, a five-minute dance break in the kitchen works wonders for me! What works for you?

One of the best forms of movement is to walk. I invite you to join me this week in walking every day. And because we're all different, and what works for one person may not work for another, you decide what your daily step goal will be. Track your steps, and comment below to let me know how it went.

Small steps can add up to big strides! Let's move more and stress less together!

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