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Understanding What Causes Stress
The first stage in preventing
and lowering your own levels of stress is recognizing what stress
is and what the major causes of stress are.

How is Stress Affecting YOU?
How stressed out are YOU?
Let's take a look into what may
be causing your stress levels to
be where they currently are.

Develop a Stress-Relief
Action Plan

Here are some tips for staying
healthy throughout the year on campus and more.

YOUR Stress Relief PLAN : Managing Daily Habits
Knowing how to manage stress
on a day-to-day basis can be just
as tough as dealing with the
stress itself. Here is a guide to
help you along the way.

Stress Relief Products
In addition to a regular stress management program, there
are many tools available to
assist you on your path to a
stress-free lifestyle. Stress Health Network

Keeping Fit

Slow Motion Fitness

You know how much exercise can improve your health and well being, but do you feel physically up to it? Don't give up the benefits you can gain from working out. Help is available from a source that may surprise you: martial arts. T'ai chi ch'uan (pronounced tie chee chwann) is one of the martial arts that helps people become more fit.

T'ai Chi uses slow, graceful movements of the arms and legs. People of all ages and fitness levels safely take part in this inexpensive activity. (It's a good idea to check with your doctor before you begin, however.) There's little risk of injury in these gentle workouts. However, if you have a low back problem, you may have to modify some moves. Your doctor or a physical therapist can help you make the modifications.

T'ai chi consists of structured positions (somewhat like in ballet) that are performed one after another in a continuous chain. Aligning the body in

the precise positions improves coordination and requires mental focus.

Most classes last about an hour, but you may want to develop a shorter routine when working out at home. T'ai chi can be practiced anytime, anywhere, because it requires no special equipment. You may perspire but probably won't ever be short of breath during a workout.

improves flexibility
may increase muscular strength
improves balance
improves posture
tones muscles
improves coordination
may reduce stress and lower blood pressure

T'ai chi classes are offered at YMCAs, YWCAs, colleges and adult continuing education centers. Or check the yellow pages. Ask for classes that emphasize t'ai chi for health and fitness.

Batter Up

As your little slugger takes to the diamond this spring, understand that baseball is a lot more than home runs and hot dogs. Being hit by a ball or bat, colliding with another player and getting spiked during a slide into base all are common mishaps for young players. These injuries can be serious, too, since they often affect the face, head, mouth or eyes.

Unfortunately, adequate safety equipment isn't mandated for these youth teams. Protect
your player with the following game plan.

Make sure someone certified in CPR attends all games.
Insist that players wear adequate safety gear: a batter's helmet and vest, eye protectors and a mouth guard.
Limit pitches to between 200 and 300 each week to protect the pitcher's elbow from injury.
Use bases that break away during impact to prevent sliding injuries.
Eliminate the on-deck circle to prevent injuries from wayward balls and bats.

Pregnant Posture

Being pregnant can do in a woman't back. If you're expecting, protect your back from the extra weight by concentrating on good posture.

1. Balance your weight around the center of gravity in your lower spine and pelvis.
2. Hold your head erect.
3. Keep your shoulders back.
4. Maintain the normal curves of your back. Stretching exercises will help you do this. Try this stretch if it's comfortable: Kneel down on all fours and arch your back upward like a cat. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds. Relax and repeat.
5. Change your position often before your back begins to ache.
6. Relax.
7. Avoid standing with your knees locked.

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