While many may dismiss stress as just part of life, it is actually known as a ‘silent killer,’ and is a result of the negative health outcomes it can trigger. Now is the time to listen to what your stress is saying before it stresses you out. Let’s keep moving your mind and body towards staying fit and overcome your stress.
Having a full life is a blessing but it can also be stressful. You’re not alone, two-thirds of New Zealanders are stressed out! According to the American Psychological Society, money and work top the list for stress triggers. We all can help our bodies reduce the stress that we carry and fortunately, scientists, researchers and doctors are intent to unlock the patterns of stress. We need to continue to make small and permanent positive steps in our lives to reduce stress.
According to experts and scientists (and your coach), exercise is a fabulous stress-buster. The more sedentary you are; the more stress you may have. The Mayo Clinic says, among its many benefits, exercise improves your mood, calms you down, and pumps up your endorphins. Recent studies show even short two-minute bursts of exercise 15 times a day can help you live longer. It gives new meaning to taking out the trash or a walk around the block.
Yoga and Meditation
Yoga benefits your body and mind while it gently releases stress. It can give you a refresh on your mental outlook, reduce your stress levels, and increase your flexibility, muscle strength, and respiration. Meditation continues the work you started in your yoga session. By committing to yoga, meditation, or quiet contemplation, you allow yourself to refocus, reset, and renew for the week.
Nearly 40% of us report overeating or eating unhealthy foods as a result of stress. Eating junk food while stressed may be particularly dangerous to your health. There is evidence to suggest that your body could have a different metabolic response to their diet based on their level of stress. Your fat cells may grow faster in response to junk food when the body is chronically stressed.
At the same time, junk foods will only give you a moment of reprieve. After the initial pleasure wears off, you may find yourself battling mood swings, irritability, and other unpleasant emotions on top of the stress, courtesy of the sugar, trans fats, artificial colours, monosodium glutamate (MSG), and whatever other synthetic ingredients you may have consumed.
On the other hand, by choosing healthy foods you can actually impact your mood on a positive note, helping to relieve tension, stabilise blood sugar, and send your stress packing.
We all need to stop the negative self-talk to reduce stress. Positive thinking helps with stress management and can even improve your health. Some studies show that pessimism may affect many areas of your health and well-being. It is unclear why people who engage in positive thinking experience health benefits. One theory is that having a positive outlook enables you to cope better with stressful situations which reduces the harmful health benefits of stress on your body.
This month, let’s take some deep breaths, to lower your stress levels and stick to your fitness plan, guided by expert advice on exercise, walking, yoga, and meditation, eat clean and stay positive!