You’ve been attending your workouts regularly and your eating seems to be on track, yet you feel like you should be a little more ahead… So what is it? What’s stopping your progress? While there could be a few factors, stress is one of the common culprits that we tend to overlook.
Stress has a very powerful impact on you, both physically and mentally. When you are under stress your body doesn’t differentiate, on a hormonal level, the difference between being chased by a bear (physical stress) or an unexpected expense (mental stress).
During prolonged periods of stress your blood sugar and blood pressure increase while you experience a decrease in dopamine and serotonin (your happy and sleepy drugs). This physically manifests in a lack of sleep, decreased appetite, difficulty focusing, sometimes depression, and a lowered immune response. Alongside these responses, your body experiences an increase in the hormone cortisol. This hormone plays a key role in both weight gain and retention, typically around your abdomen.
On the other side of the spectrum, you may be hindering your progress by overtraining. If you train 6X times a week at the gym, plus go on hikes, bike everywhere, and play with your kids for hours without taking time to rest, you aren’t giving your body the time it needs to recover. Your body gains most of its results in a state of rest. With proper rest and healthy eating the energy within your body is replenished, and your muscles begin to repair themselves. In the same way an overworked engine needs to cool down before it can function properly, and safely, your body needs to rest. When you do not do this, or you eat poorly, you deny your body the results you deserve from all of your hard work. The gym is a great place for you to be in order to achieve your goals but everything, even working out, is best in moderation.
Thankfully, there are methods you can practice to help manage stress, and the symptoms that are holding you back from the goals you’ve been working towards. You can naturally assist to balance the hormones that are working against you by practicing healthy stress management.
You can help alleviate stress by taking personal time for yourself. Allocate the time necessary for you to get your mind off of all the things that are making you feel stressed. Going for a walk, reading a book, getting a massage, or joining a yoga class are all options for stepping back and unwinding. Go to the gym and boost your endorphins with a rockin’ workout with one of your Movimento coaches. Make the time to separate yourself from the stress of your life. Find the balance between relieving stress and overstressing your system. When you do these exercises, it’s important to focus on what you’re doing and not let your mind revolve around what’s bothering you. Like your body, your mind needs to rest as well. These practices will help you feel better and reach your goals faster.
If you’re unsure of how to step back, or manage your stress, you can always reach out to one of your coaches. With the right encouragement and a little direction, you can get back on track.
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