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Take It Easy

Dec. 13, 2013|817 views
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It’s all too easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of early winter. With all the frenzied activity, you may find your nerves are frazzled and you’re feeling stressed and unhappy, before you even realize what’s going on. When that happens, it’s important to make time to relax and unwind.

Goodness knows, the pressures of modern life can take their toll on your health if you’re not careful. Being under constant stress raises levels of the stress hormone cortisol. And over time high cortisol levels can overtax your immune system, setting you up for illness. High cortisol is also linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, and a tendency to overeat. So taking time to relax is not just about your short-term sanity; it’s also about your long-term health.

But how to unwind when there’s so much to do? How about taking a tip from the English and enjoying a good cup of tea.There’s a reason generations of people have put on a kettle for tea when things get hectic. It’s soothing and relaxing to pause for tea. It’s calming, and civilized. And it’s not just because it forces you to take time to prepare and enjoy a hot beverage. Green tea, especially, contains a unique amino acid, called theanine. Studies have shown that theanine really does help the mind focus and relax. It relieves anxiety and promotes a state of focused calm. It may even help enhance concentration and learning. It all happens in the mind, but it’s not imaginary: A good “cuppa” really does help you relax. So drink up!


Vuong QV, Bowyer MC, Roach PD.L-Theanine: properties, synthesis and isolation from tea.J Sci Food Agric. 2011 Aug 30;91(11):1931-9. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.4373. Epub 2011 Mar 29


Tags:  workouts, stress, health tips