Stress – Where’s That Magic Wand?

Stress – Where’s That Magic Wand?

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Are you stressed? Or perhaps you’re stressed and don’t even know it?!

Every day we see people and help them with their training, nutrition and lifestyle factors relating to their health.

Now, you can eat all the kale in the world, but if you’re stressed up to your eyeballs you’re still going to struggle to get your health and weight where you want it.

When your body is already super stressed adding high intensity or heavy training loads to the mix may not be the best thing for your health and will most likely not get the results you’re after.

In saying this, there is “good” stress and “bad” stress. Here are a few examples:

Good stress

  • strength training – increases muscle mass and bone density
  • cardio training – improve heart health
  • having fun and hobbies

Bad stress

  • chronic stress from work
  • dehydration
  • lack of sleep

You may have heard of the “fight or flight response”? It’s a survival response to a perceived threat. This fight or flight response is really useful when we were getting chased by lions and kangaroos, but it’s not the response you want from your body due to work load, deadlines and the general hectic nature of our day to day lives.

One of the many hormones the body produces during this fight or flight response is cortisol. Most lay people hear the word cortisol and may think of it as a “stress” hormone. It’s useful in certain situations, but excess amounts of cortisol can cause all sorts of problems in the body including:

  • Immune system suppression – reducing your ability to fight off sickness
  • Fatigue
  • Increased body fat
  • Increased blood sugar
  • Decreased muscle mass
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia

Plus the rest, this is just a small sample of potential symptoms that people come up against.

So about that magical wand… there ain’t one! There’s no silver bullet or magical pill, sorry guys!

So, what can we do to help ourselves? Start with the low hanging fruit, the easy stuff!

  • Go to sleep earlier! Try and get to sleep at the same time each night and try to get that 7-8 hours sleep. Sleep is really important for recovery, we will dive into this in another blog post.
  • Drink water – more than what you think you should, you’re most likely under doing it.
  • Move you body every day – train at the gym, walk the dog, play sport, take the stairs instead of the lift – your body will thank you!
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff 🙂

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