Stress caused me to …

Watching this play out on a live stream!

This has been a difficult time for many of us Americans. A sitting president urged his followers to riot at the Capitol. Through the miracle of technology we saw the events unfold in real time. Barricades fell. Legislators, in the midst of one of the most important jobs in months, were forced to evacuate to safe locations. Rioters overtook the chamber and congressional offices. They vandalized offices, stole equipment and perhaps sensitive documents. People were killed in the melee.

I did not get much work done this last Wednesday afternoon.

Stress takes over

Like many others, my stomach was churning, my head was spinning. I knew I had to do something to reduce my own stress. There was nothing I could do at that moment to alleviate the situation, all I could do was make sure that I did not take my stress out on my family, friends or dogs. I sometimes lash out when I’m feeling stress. It’s not fair to my sister or my friends. And the dogs certainly do not understand. They pick up on stress and tend to act emotionally too. Simon will race around, doing laps around the dining room table and leaping from the kitchen chair, over his brothers to run around. Booker will claw at us, insisting on our complete attention. 

Step aerobics at my age?!?

So I did the hardest step workout I own. Now, at age 65, I won’t do a whole lot of jumping and the step is only at about 6 inches. I modified many of the high impact moves, but still got my heart rate up. Even though I modified the routines and made it more low-impact, it was very high intensity. And 45 minutes of intense cardio on a step is guaranteed to produce a lot of endorphins. (Thank you, Gin Miller!)

A great workout eliminates stress.

Intense physical exercise is a sure-fire way to release stress, burn a whole lot of calories, and leave me more even-tempered. I was much more able to face the rest of the world after that workout!

If you’re interested in step aerobics, check out some videos on YouTube before you invest in a step. For this type of exercise, you definitely need a step designed for it. Also, for those of us over 50, we may have knee and hip issues as well as other conditions, so check with your doctor before you start exercise, especially high impact and high intensity exercise.

And then calm…

And after that high-energy step workout, I did a short guided meditation to calm down. If you’ve heard of meditation and think that is something you’d like to try, there’s really no special equipment or background you need. Just sit comfortably and close your eyes. And then think of nothing. Clear your mind. If you have a hard time doing that, then a guided meditation can help.