Hoag Exercise Physiologist, Wray Watkins, works with our primary care physicians to provide Hoag patients with one-to-one coaching and support in the areas of nutrition, functional fitness, and lifestyle guidance. With all the hustle and bustle that can come with the holidays and year-end activities, we asked Wray to share some helpful tips on reducing stress.
Q: What types of movement can people incorporate in their everyday lives to provide stress relief?
A: I really like that yoga is an effective stress reducer and relaxes the mind and body. The American College of Sports Medicine says, “if practicing yoga on a regular basis is not in your daily routine just learning diaphragmatic breathing will help tremendously. Find a comfortable place to sit, close your eyes and take slow deep breaths, expanding the diaphragm with every inhale and exhaling completely. Softening the jaw releases tension in the neck, shoulders and hips and leads to total body relaxation. Deep breathing can be done any time, anywhere.”
Q: How can regular exercise help someone address stressors at work?
A: The mind-body connection is very important. Incorporating exercise on a regular basis, 30 minutes daily, can help many people manage their stress better. When you’re moving, your mind has something else to think about, you’re increasing oxygen intake and blood flow. Your body is able to produce positive hormones like endorphins which make you feel good. Even a brief walk can have positive, relaxing effects if you’re not able to get a full workout in.
Q: What Hoag services or programs do you recommend to help manage stress and their physical and mental well-being?
A: Scheduling a wellness consultation with an Exercise Physiologist is a great first step. During a consultation, we work with Hoag members to explore realistic and achievable modes of exercise in a non-judgmental, low stress space. Hoag Executive Health members can use the open gym at our Newport Beach location. This is a convenient way to work away stress and anxiety in an intimate, supportive and not crowded environment.
Learn more about Hoag’s voluntary benefits, like exercise physiology and health coaching.