Preventing Chronic Stress & Chronic Pain

by Jessica Kerr

in Lifestyle

Chronic stress and chronic pain sufferers understand the importance of an effective prevention and treatment program. While there are many treatment plans to choose from, proper nutrition and exercise act as both preventative and treatment agents, and are two of the most important, inexpensive and effective remedies.

The way we fuel and move our bodies are the largest determinants of our overall health and vitality, as well as pain and stress levels. It is best to consult with a College Educated & Certified Dietitian to come up with the best eating plan to effectively tackle the problem of chronic pain and stress. Additionally, a great place to gain a better understanding of pain and access information on chronic pain management is www.painbalance.org.

The importance of a healthy diet should never be underestimated. Proper nutrition is essential for optimal health as an effective remedy for chronic pain and stress. An ideal healthy diet consists of fruits and vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds, lean proteins, and non- or low-fat dairy. By eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables you can ensure that you’re getting the proper nutrients to assist your body in performing at its peak. It’s important to focus on whole, natural foods, and avoid processed foods with little or no nutritional value.

A poor diet will only exacerbate stress and pain, and as sufferers adopt a healthy diet, they will see marked results. The antioxidants, vitamins and minerals found in nature’s best foods have the power to heal our bodies and treat our ailments. Chronic pain and chronic stress sufferers should also stay away from excessive caffeine, alcohol and sugar.

Fried foods, processed foods with a lot preservatives and additives, and sugary treats should be avoided as well. Not only are these foods bad for your health, but they will also aggravate symptoms.  The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of many vitamin-rich foods, like dark, leafy green vegetables and blueberries, can alleviate pain symptoms and improve well-being by supplying your body with the nutrients it needs to function properly. For example, vitamin C has been shown to reduce stress and reduce inflammation, so reach for an orange or a kiwi instead of popping a pill!

Exercise is the other crucial piece of the puzzle that can diminish pain and stress. Our bodies were designed to move, and when we neglect the intended purpose of our body we will definitely suffer from the effects of the inactivity.  A regular and consistent exercise routine can not only reduce stress, but also relieve pain symptoms.

We should all aim to engage in moderate to vigorous exercise 5 days a week. Exercise releases “feel good” endorphins and improves mood. Luckily, the types of exercise doesn’t seem to matter as any form produces the benefits, so patients can choose what they enjoying doing. Tai chi and yoga, often referred to as “meditation in motion,” are particularly good choices because of their focus on both mind and body. Individuals also note the benefit of mental focus while exercising as it takes your mind off whatever may be causing pain and stress.   Regular exercise, along with a healthy diet, is the best foundation for effective chronic pain and stress management.

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