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Stress, Play and Going Where You Haven't Gone For A While

"Play not only keeps us young but also maintains our perspective about the relative seriousness of things. Running is play....it is a relief from everyday cares."  Jim Fixx, author of the best-selling book, "The Complete Book of Running".

On their website, the Mayo Clinic reports, "Stress symptoms may be affecting your health, even though you might not realize it. You may think illness is to blame for that nagging headache, your frequent insomnia or your decreased productivity at work. But stress may actually be the culprit.  Indeed, stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior.

Excessive heat, family vacations, children's summer camp/lesson schedules, finances, and as always, traffic adds to stress levels, which in turn effect our over all health issues.  Speaking to one of my patients the other day, she indicated she was feeling worse after two months of constant gradual improvements.  When I asked her if she knew why this was the case she answered she wasn't sure.  However, as we analyzed her past week, it became obvious that with her crazy schedule she was eating "on the go", her typical schedule was out the window with the children home from school and she wasn't getting enough sleep. 

Eating "on the go" can cause a train wreck on a sensitive stomach or digestion system.  A few tips to keep in mind: 

  • Keep a small cooler packed up and ready every morning. 
  • Keep clean and cut veggies on hand at all times and keep a supply in your small cooler every day so when you need to head out the door you can quickly grab the cooler.
  • Don't forget to add fresh fruit to the cooler too.
  • Buy organic juice and freeze in ice trays or any store bought "pop cycle" container.  Pack those in your drink container with a little seltzer water or regular water when you're ready to leave so you always have a refreshing cool drink to sip on. 
  • Cook and slice organic meats ahead of time and have available so you can add a lettuce leaf and a slice of cheese for a quick, healthy on the go sandwich.

But primarily remember that summer time is a time for PLAYING and having FUNTry something different.  Get outdoors (early on these hot days) and soak up a little Vitamin D.  If possible watch a child discover something new and glory in the fascination they experience. 

PLAY!!  I love running because it stimulates my body, clears my mind and always makes me smile.  But your play could be anything from walking to dancing, to running through a sprinkler with your children or grandchildren, playing at the pool, to paddling a canoe, to going to a concert.  Just play.  The body craves play and glorifies in it.  Please don't make the excuse you don't have time for nonsense.  Play reduces stress.  Most likely you have stress.  So you don't have time to NOT PLAY.

Jim Fixx, author of the 1977 best-selling book, The Complete Book of Running

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