Heya my awesome tribe
Personal Trainer Durham
I am going to talk about stress and give you 5 top tips to reduce stress, before we do that i will explain why stress is so bad for our health and weight.
Not sure you know this but stress is one of the biggest killers and even CHDs and strokes can be caused by stress. We are starting to believe that stress is the foundation of most fatalities, think about it.
Obesity which can cause diabetes, heart disease and strokes can be caused directly and in directly by stress. How can stress keep us fat or make us obese?
Directly - hormones
Release of the stress hormone cortisol which can stop the fat burning process and hold onto the fat, great for survival of a caveman over the winter months but life threatening for stressed out modern people. Also when you are stressed you will be most likely be in the sympathetic nervous system which is the flight or fight nervous system when blood is shunted to the limbs ready to run away or fight to survive. This blood should be in your gut to aid with digestion and fat burning.
Indirectly - eating
So indirectly is more common and more noticeable than the hormonal effects of stress on us, so you are stressed and you go for junk food to make yourself feel better or even worse you starve yourself as you are not hungry. Both have a very negative effect on your metabolism and keeping fat off in the future.
The medical definition of stress is, “the perception of a real or imagined threat to your body or your ego.” It could be a tiger chasing you or your belief that your spouse is mad at you (even if he or she is not). Whether it is real or imagined, when you perceive something as stressful, it creates the same response in the body.
Years ago stress would be a productive thing for the caveman because it would shunt blood to help a caveman catch his food or escape from a threat or during the winter months it would retain fat to help him survive the winter. Unfortunately 100,000 generations as a hunter gatherer and 10 generations of modern agriculture our brains haven't developed enough to distinguish actual and perceived threat.
You feel stressed or threatened and a sudden influx of adrenaline, cortisol, and other stress hormones floods your system, raising your heart rate, increasing your blood pressure, making your blood more likely to clot, damaging your brain’s memory centre, increasing fat storage, and generally wreaking havoc on your body.
My tips are as follows and work for myself and my clients:
- Move. A great way to reduce stress is enjoyable exercise, a bike ride, horse ride, yoga or a nice run in the woods. Remember though your brain still sees exercise as stress, it is a stress on your body and mind so if the exercise is too tough or competitive it could have the opposite effect. For myself a nice mountain bike ride through the woods on a hot day de-stresses excellently.
- Breathe. Most of us hold our breath often or breathe high in the chest, anxious breaths. Deep, slow, full breaths have a profound affect on resetting the stress response. Your brain can feel in threat or stress and often some big slow breaths breathing through the diaphragm is the first and quickest way of bringing you back into the correct relaxed nervous system and de stressing and helping you relax or sleep.
- Sunshine. This is the life giving rays of the sun, the vitamin D from the sun has been proven to make you feel happy and has been know to treat depression. I have been using the sun actively for improving my clients self esteem and morale for a long time now, normally a bit of exercise or cycling in the sun. 15 minutes of sun a day is recommended for good health, get some real sun on your skin each time.
- Sleep. Lack of sleep increases stress hormones. Get your eight hours no matter what. Take a nap if you missed your sleep. Prioritise sleep.
- Think Differently. Practice the art of noticing stress, noticing how your thinking makes you stressed. Practice taking deep breaths and letting go of worry. Don't let bad people let you get down, ignore what other people think. Always think positively i actually try and take a positive with everything i do, every time i mess up i think of the benefits.
I am running a get fit and lose fat quick for your holidays program with almost unlimited personal training and nutrition support for one month for just £500. I only have 5 places and one has just gone so if you like how i operate please get in touch ASAP to get my help and support.
Glenn(the stress go to guy North East) Hill