Tips to Beat Summer Stress

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By Valerie Worthington, who teaches LL 302 Externship: The Role of Fitness in the Examined Life at SNL Online. 
Summer in Chicago is always a great time to get out and about and to increase our activity levels. There are many simple ways to do this. Consider getting off the El a few stops early or parking a few blocks away and walking the rest of the way to your destination. Biking, paddleboating, even yard work can help us get moving and provide some health benefit. Remember that wellness is a decision–or many small decisions. If you are feeling stressed, counter that feeling in your body by breathing deeply, inventing a positive mantra you can say to yourself, (e.g., “I am calm”), and smiling. Try it: it’s a lot harder to feel stressed when your breathing is deep and even and when you are putting on a happy face.
Each small decision you make in support of your own fitness–to treat yourself lovingly rather than with frustration, to make food choices that sustain you, to make the time you spend with your loved ones meaningful and focused on healthy activities–leads to another small decision, and these can add up to a wonderful life.
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