Exercise, Eat Well and...Recline?

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Reduce Stress with Healthy Behaviors and Reclining at Home

The reclining position is especially helpful because it prevents swelling and edema, promotes good posture and eases pressure on the joints

Unemployment is high, job security is low and the economy has yet to make a big comeback. The holidays, with their many obligations and expectations, also are right around the corner. The combination of these factors means people are more stressed than ever – in fact, according to the American Psychological Association, 75 percent of adults have recently experienced moderate to high levels of stress, and 42 percent of people believe that their stress levels have increased over the past year. So what can we do about all of this stress? Relax! According to a recent study* of primary care physicians, 94 percent of doctors say daily relaxation at home, in conjunction with other healthy behaviors, is important to reduce stress.

“Health consciousness has risen dramatically over the past few decades, but so have stress levels, and many people mistakenly believe that healthy living equals busy living,” says Dr. Dave David, a board-certified physician who has been practicing medicine for more than 30 years.

When we have so many tasks on our to-do list, it’s nice to know that less activity can be healthy. On average, doctors recommend approximately one hour of relaxation each day to combat stress. Follow these tips to reduce stress levels and make the most out of your hour.

Create a Haven at Home
Relaxing at home won’t be nearly as beneficial if you lack a comfortable, soothing atmosphere. Get off of that hard desk chair and settle into a comfortable, quality recliner – 96 percent of primary care physicians recommend sitting in a reclined position to promote relaxation and reduce stress.

“The reclining position is especially helpful because it prevents swelling and edema, promotes good posture and eases pressure on the joints,” says Dr. David.

When considering the purchase of a recliner, look for an option that offers a back and footrest that reclines independently. For example, many La-Z-Boy recliners offer this feature, which results in the ability to tailor different comfort levels.

“La-Z-Boy offers so many different options when it comes to recliners, and every position offers total body and lumbar support, meaning that there is no extra stress on any one part of the body,” says Dr. David.

Take Care of Your Physical Health:

  • The mind and the body are linked, so when you improve your physical health, you’ll automatically experience greater mental and emotional well-being. Engage in healthy activities such as exercising, getting enough sleep and eating healthy foods.
  • Exercise is not only essential to your health, strengthening your heart and lungs, but it also releases endorphins, powerful chemicals that energize you and lift your mood. These feel-good chemicals can help lessen feelings of anxiety or the “blues” that often come with stress.
  • Getting an adequate amount of sleep also is important to emotional health. Lack of sleep results in a reduced ability to manage moods, which means less control over stress. Although the amount of sleep each person needs varies, doctors generally recommend seven to eight hours a night.
  • It’s tempting to reach for a large scoop of ice cream after a stressful day – 43 percent of Americans say they overeat or eat unhealthy foods to manage stress. Instead, reach for healthy, stress-reducing foods. Research shows that vitamins like B complex, C and E, along with minerals like manganese, selenium and zinc are helpful in relieving stress. A couple of easy foods to try are dried apricots, which are rich in magnesium, and milk, which is high in calcium and protein, a combination that helps keep blood-sugar stabilized.

Manage Your Emotional Health
Adjusting thoughts and expectations and engaging in meditative activities are important tools to managing and reducing stress. For the recommended one hour of relaxation, try engaging in soothing and reflective activities such as reading, listening to music and meditating. These will promote relaxation and self-awareness and decrease stress.

1.    When reflecting on the day or the tasks to come, focus on having an optimistic, but also realistic attitude. Be realistic in what can be accomplished, and recognize what can't be controlled.

2.    For holiday stress, it’s important to realize that no Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa or other holiday celebration is perfect. View inevitable missteps as opportunities to demonstrate flexibility and resilience.

3.    Practice balancing emotions – focusing on appreciative, generous or empowering thoughts for the same amount of time you concentrate on stressors and worry.

“Taking time to relax and unwind each day can be beneficial in many ways, including lowering blood pressure and increasing emotional and mental health,” says Dr. David. “So make it a point everyday to grab a good book, check negative emotions at the door and lean back in that recliner!”

About La-Z-Boy
Headquartered in Monroe, Mich., La-Z-Boy is one of the world’s leading residential furniture producers. The company manufactures a full line of comfortable products for the living room and family room, including the company’s world-famous recliners, reclining sofas and love seats, sleep sofas, modular furniture and leather upholstery, as well as stationary sofas, love seats and chairs. It is a division of La-Z-Boy Incorporated (NYSE: LZB), one of the world’s leading residential furniture producers, marketing furniture for every room of the home. Comfort. It’s what we do. ®

Contact:
Laura Bohacz or Samantha Frost
800/837-7123 or 312/565-3900

*This survey of 300 primary care physicians (PCPs) in the U.S. was completed for La-Z-Boy by the L.C. Williams & Associates (LCWA) Research Group from July 29-31, 2009.

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Laura Bohacz
LCWA
312-565-3900
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