TREATING TRAUMA WITH EXERCISE

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14 | August/September 2018 | LIVINGQUIETLYMAGAZINE.COM

Article written by me:


T here are many types of Trauma, some major, some an accumulation of small events in a short time span. Examples are recovering from physical injury, major illness, an operation, bereavement, divorce, emotional breakdown, a natural disaster, a disturbing event, post traumatic stress disorder and anxiety to name but a few. But one thing is certain movement or exercise can help you recover. It might be the last thing you feel like doing when you’re recovering from trauma but moving or exercise can burn off adrenaline and release feel-good endorphins to boost your mood and help you cope with life more effectively. It is well documented that those who exercise regularly are not only less likely to suffer from anxiety and depression, but also recover from injury quicker.
5 TOP TIPS TO GET MOVING You may be physically or mentally limited after trauma so it’s very important that you find something that you CAN do rather than what you should do or you are being told to do. You also need to find movement or exercise that you ENJOY doing as you are more likely to keep going with it in order to reap the benefits and make it part of your everyday life. Try exercise that is rhythmic and engages both your arms and legs such as walking, running and swimming. Cycling is very good too. The good thing about cycling is that you can do it at home on a stationary bike if your trauma has left you housebound. Invest a good solid bike. Physical activity performed mindfully such as Pilates and Yoga can also rouse
your nervous system from that “stuck feeling” and help you move on from the traumatic event. Pilates and Yoga also incorporate deep breathing techniques which can help to de-stress and relax. This can also be done at home and you need no equipment. Music and Dancing! Play your favourite music and get up and dance. Even better join a dance class like Salsa, Modern Jive, Tango, and Ballroom. This is not only a great way to exercise, keep fit, burn calories but it’s also fun and a great way to make new friends. Socialising and being part of a group of like-minded people plays an important part of the recovery process. The important thing is to find something you can do, that you enjoy and that you feel is doing you good; you will then look forward to it, make it part of your regular daily/weekly regime and help you on your way to recovery.
l Fran Brown is an experienced Health & Fitness expert and runs ‘The Fran Brown Pilates Method’ classes in Berkhamsted: www. fransfitnesspilates.co.uk