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March 2005

Healthy & Wise

Health-Conscious Individuals Are Tackling Stress With Courses

Long hours in the office, the daily commute and a hectic social life all add up to high levels of stress. These strains of modern-day living take their toll and often lead to illness and unhappiness. It therefore comes as no surprise to learn that more people are becoming increasingly health-conscious and actively tackling stress. Want to join them? Then head to Munich’s Gesundheits-park (health park), for a few lessons in how to take better care of yourself.

The Gesundheitspark is part of Munich’s adult education center (Volkshochschule) and is set in the north of the city, near the Olympiazentrum. The park focuses on all aspects of health—from prevention to cure. There’s a mixture of activities on offer, ranging from leisure pursuits, including yoga and painting, to rehabilitation treatment for patients recovering from all types of illness, be it a heart attack, chronic back pain or psychological problems.

According to Thurid Stewart, head of the department for creative and body-oriented work, the park is attracting ever more visitors, as people become increasingly health-conscious and interested in improving their physical and mental well-being. In particular, a growing number of people are visiting the center to try and tackle stress.

“The stress of work and a modern lifestyle means that courses designed to alleviate stress are currently the most popular,” says Stewart. As well as classes to combat stress in the first place, the park runs stress-management courses, which include exercises to strengthen the spine and ease back problems, often exacerbated by sitting all day in front of a computer. Another program that has seen increased popularity recently is self-defense, according to Stewart.

There are numerous other courses and classes available for those who simply want to remain healthy or pursue an interest. Individuals can visit the center to learn about hundreds of health issues—from evolution in partnerships, to body language and healthy nutrition.

wide spectrum of classes runs each weekday from 2 pm until 10 pm, including Pilates, back gymnastics and communication techniques. People pay € 6 for entry to the park and can choose from a variety of classes on offer that day. A multi-entry ticket costs € 25. The courses are in German, but many teachers speak English and are prepared to translate for non-German speakers.

The Gesundheits-park also offers courses for individuals with more serious physical and adjustment problems. For individuals in need of therapy, the center provides psychological, psychoana-lytical and behavioral treatment. What’s un-ique about the center is that medical insurance partly covers the cost of those courses that are prescribed by doctors. The individual then pays the rest of the course fees. A doctor is available daily at the park from 4 pm until 6:30 pm and counsels patients who are taking medically prescribed courses.

The park offers a new range of courses and classes each quarter. Pilates and salsa aerobics are two of the new activities to have been added so far this year. Otherwise, there are dozens of different physical activities available, including dance and T´ai Chi. The center also gives courses that focus on nutrition, relaxation and meditation, and creativity. Individuals can opt for programs that are designed to improve self-confidence, as well as courses on communication and relationship techniques. The center even offers coaching for those who want to overcome nicotine dependency or who suffer from a fear of flying or insomnia, for example.

Want to wise up on your health? Try one of the many courses available:
Outpatient heart groups, gymnastics and movement training, movement and dance, creativity, relaxation and meditation, nutrition, behavioral treatment, getting to know your body, family, partnership and love, contact and communication, stress management, self-confidence training, crisis and illness courses—using various methods, including behavioral, psychological and psychoanalytical treatment. <<<

Spiridon-Louis-Ring 27
Tel. 30 61 01-0

DIRECTIONS: Take the U-Bahn to the Olympiazentrum and then take the free bus for visitors to the Gesundheitspark.

Here are a few tips for beating stress, from the experts at Munich’s Gesundheitspark:
• Time management. Learn to prioritize tasks, and don’t spend too much time on things that are not important.
• Relaxation techniques. Learn some re-laxation techniques, be it muscle relaxation, yoga, other forms of calming exercise or simply consciously taking a moment during the day just to breathe correctly and think with a clear head.
• Learning to say no. Don’t say yes if you really mean no. And don’t take too much on, whether it’s that extra project at work or accepting an invitation to another party.
• Solving conflict. A good way of combatting stress is to learn how to behave in a conflict situation. As well as needing to be sure of your own standpoint, you should learn to listen to the other person’s point of view so that you can try to reach a compromise.

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