We all experience it; some of us just manage it better than others.

We all experience it; some of us just manage it better than others. It's called stress. There are many different things in life that can cause stress. Maybe you've experienced some lifestyle changes recently or just have a hectic schedule. No matter what stresses you may have, there are ways to manage the stress in your life.

April is National Stress Awareness month, with National Stress Awareness day being April 16. This was started by the Health Resource Network and is celebrated each year for individuals to look at their lives, determine their stress and what stresses them, then how to deal with stress in a healthy way.

According to www.stress.org, stress is defined as "the non-specific response of the body to any demand for change." There are many ways to alleviate stress in a healthy manner that will help you better manage the stress in your life.

One way to alleviate stress is through exercise. Regular exercise increases the production of the "feel-good" chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins can help boost your mood and help you to feel better. Adrenaline is a stress hormone and exercise can help you burn excess amounts of it.

Cardiovascular exercise such as walking, running, biking, swimming, etc. helps burn off energy and relieve tension. Your body can handle stress better if it is in shape physically. According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), recommendations for physical activity for adults is to engage in at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week. They also recommend incorporating strength-training exercise at least two to three days per week. With this combination and having a good balance in your exercise routine, it will help your fight against stress.

Other stress relieving activities you could try include taking a walk, reading a book, or watching a movie. Possibly meditate, try Yoga, or go for a massage. No matter what you choose just make sure it's an activity that's enjoyable to you.

While we can't avoid stress, we can learn to better manage it and choose how we handle it. Take some time to sit back and relax in your near future, it does a body well!

Sarah Sonis is program director for the Freeman Southwest Family YMCA.