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Wellness Wednesday, April 8th, 2020

The coronavirus {COVID - 19) has impacted every aspect of our lives. The stay-at-home and social distancing mandates have been imposed to mitigate or slow down the spread of the virus. Thus, stress and anxiety may take a toll on our physical and mental health.

According to the American Heart Association, "You can get active in lots of ways, but walking is one of the easiest! For most people, it’s safe, easy to stick with, and low- or no cost. It doesn’t require any special skills or equipment. For such a simple activity, it has so many benefits.

Research has shown that walking at a lively pace at least 150 minutes a week can help you:
  • Think better, feel better and sleep better.

  • Reduce your risk of serious diseases like heart disease, stroke, diabetes and several types of cancer.

  • Improve your blood pressure, blood sugar, and blood cholesterol levels.

  • Increase your energy and stamina.

  • Improve your mental and emotional well-being and reduce the risk of depression.

  • Improve memory and reduce your risk of dementia.

  • Boost bone strength and reduce your risk of osteoporosis.

  • Prevent weight gain.

If 150 minutes sounds like a lot, remember that even short activity sessions can be added up over the week to reach this goal. And it’s easy to fit in a few minutes of walking several times a day.

Central Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church members conducted a Beach Walk on October 28, 2018, and participated in the American Heart Association 5K Walk/Run on April 27, 2019.

Let's all get some exercise and do "Praise Walks" in your neighborhood. When you walk, practice social distancing and praise God for all that He has done and will do. Keep track of the number of steps/and or time spent exercising. Listen to the birds, observe the spring blossoms, and meditate on God's goodness.

Working Out to Relieve Stress - (American Heart Association)

Feeling anxious? Everyone responds to stress in different ways, but we all have one thing in common: Regular exercise reduces the harmful effects of stress.

Road rage, sleeping too much or too little, bingeing on TV or comfort foods, drinking more alcohol than usual, procrastinating, or chewing your fingernails down to the nub. Any of these sound familiar?

Stress affects each of us in different ways. You may have physical signs (such as headaches, tense or sore muscles, or trouble sleeping), emotional signs (such as feeling anxious or depressed), or both. Healthy habits, including regular physical activity such as walking, can help reduce or prevent some of the harmful effects of stress.

Stress sets off a chain of events. The body reacts to it by releasing a hormone, adrenaline, that temporarily causes your breathing and heart rate to speed up and your blood pressure to rise. These physical reactions prepare you to deal with the situation by confronting it or by running away from it — the "fight or flight" response. When stress is constant (chronic), your body remains in high gear off and on for days or weeks at a time.

Chronic stress can take a physical toll on you. It can weaken your immune system and cause uncomfortable physical symptoms like headaches and stomach problems.

Does chronic stress cause high blood pressure or heart disease?

The link between stress and cardiovascular disease is not clear, but it can lead to unhealthy lifestyle choices that are associated with high blood pressure and heart disease. While the exact causes of high blood pressure are unknown, contributing factors include being overweight, eating too much sodium (salt), lack of physical activity and drinking too much alcohol.

How can being more active help?

Regular physical activity can improve quality of life and relieve stress, tension, anxiety and depression. You may notice a "feel good” sensation immediately following your workout and also see an improvement in overall well-being over time as physical activity becomes a regular part of your life.

Physical activity can:

  • release stress and calm you

  • improve your mood and help you think clearly

  • keep your mind off cigarettes if you’re trying to quit

  • help control your appetite

  • help you lose weight if you’re overweight, or stay at a healthy weight

  • give you more energy and stamina

  • lower your blood pressure

  • increase your “good” HDL cholesterol level

  • reduce your risk of developing heart disease and stroke

  • help control blood sugar by improving how your body uses insulin

  • improve your quality of sleep

  • help you feel better about how you look

Trust God, and during these uncertain times be sure to Exercise>Choose Wisely> Eat Healthy>Relax>Manage Stress> and Pray without ceasing!

Central Oak Grove Baptist Church, HHI, SC - Pastor Louis Johnson

Diane Neal, Carolyn Campbell, Linda Ferguson, and Duchett Hylton, Central Oak Grove Baptist Church Facilitators

Lifestyle Changes for Greater Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Health Ministry/Initiative

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