How To Lower Stress With Exercise

I work out a lot. As a chef, it is quintessential to be in great physical shape for this ever-so-demanding profession. We talking cooking in hot environments, on your feet for several hours and yet you still have to meet the very high standards to be on top of your game. It’s no mystery why culinary is one of the most stressful jobs you could ever do and hence it comes with the stress as a side dish, with a garnish of depression and anxiety. Most chefs try to drink away the pain but we all know that the hangover comes back twice as hard, leaving you double the stress. It is for this reasons why chefs are the heaviest drinkers among professionals around the world, with doctors a close second.

So…how do I hack this?, easy…I work out twice a day, a variety of exercises like jogging, walking, dancing, cleaning, yoga and meditation. Of course my hours are very flexible since I work at home and I do more of consultancy than actual cooking so I have more time on my hands but even if you work a 9-to-5 you can still create time for a walk in the neighborhood or even take the stairs to the 10th floor, in fact working against gravity is more efficient.

Not only does this keeps me in great physical shape, it also lowers my any stressful situation that I may face, keeping me cool, calm and collected. Exercise also makes me feel great everyday, thanks to the endorphin hormones that get releases in the face of physical activity. Research from Harvard has proven these theories as well as real life experiences.

Types of Exercise

I seldom advice people to go to the gym. I prefer working out in nature, be it a brisk walk in the hood or a morning jog at sunrise. The air is so fresh, the sun looks beautiful too as you can see from this pic I took last week from my hike at the Nairobi Safari walk.

 

sunrise at safari walk

 

Walking is also a nice way to get your friends and family healthier, whilst enjoying good conversation or even a light snack, I love street food and often explore my choices in my area. You are spoiled for choice too here, there is chilli mango, roasted maize, boiled sweet potatoes or just fruit. I have to confess, I do sometimes eat some chipo mwitu (street fries), for some reason they taste better, especially when you get nice kachumbari, though do it in moderation.

The best is walking, by far, but you may also want to balance with other exercises to hit all points and see your stress levels go down by the minute.

  • Aerobics
  • Yoga
  • Martial Arts
  • Pilates
  • Swimming in the ocean and not in chlorinated pools
  • Hiking
  • Dancing
  • zhumba
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