Singapore may be a more relaxing environment than some other cities I can name (such as Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, and Los Angeles), but that’s not to say that the Lion City is truly idyllic. There’s a good reason why heart disease and stroke’s the number 2 cause of mortality here next only to cancer, and I can’t help but wonder if stress plays a major factor in that.

According to one report, stress makes you five times more likely to die from a heart-related condition. However, it’s also a known medical fact that fitness training can help you manage your stress levels better so that you can reduce or even eliminate the effects of stress.

What is Stress?

Stress is, in essence, a normal physical and psychological reaction to the demands of one’s life. The human body comes with a built-in alarm system, and when your brain sees something as a threat, it releases hormones that allows you to respond better to that threat. This is called the fight-or-flight response. Once the brain thinks that there’s no threat anymore, your body is supposed to revert to a more relaxed state.

The problem is that normal life doesn’t exactly stop burdening you with an ever-increasing amount of stressors. You worry about your bills and your finances. You constantly think about problems at work, and often the home is no refuge because you bring home your work. Then there are family and social problems to consider. It’s actually a blessing that you don’t have to worry about crime in our contry, unlike in many other urban areas all over the world. But still, modern life can be pretty stressful. In time, that constant high state of alert leads to all manners of medical conditions, such as cardiovascular problems.

Wrong Ways of Dealing with Stress

Some people try to deal with stress the wrong way, and they end up compounding their problems. Some, for example, smoke cigarettes when they feel stressed, and in this day and age do we really need to explain just how unhealthy smoking is? Others adopt different coping strategies which are all unhealthy too such as: drinking too much, taking pills and drugs to relax, binge eating or worse, refusing to eat. Some try to avoid thinking about their problems by sleeping too much or spending countless hours in front of the PC or TV.

Healthy Ways of Dealing

There are many different ways of dealing with stress properly. Perhaps the most effective of them all is to adopt a healthy lifestyle that makes you more able to resist the damage that stress can bring.
First of all, you’ll need to have a healthy diet. If you have proper and sufficient nourishment, then your body is much more able to handle stress more effectively. What’s “proper” however, will have to be determined in your case, since everyone’s different.

Then of course you have to exercise regularly. A Singapore personal trainer can help you with that, so that you can perform the right exercises that can keep you fit and also allow you to release the tension you’re feeling. With exercise, you can manage your stress better and live a more enjoyable life.

Coach Sharm, MSc

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