Have you been feeling stressed lately? Luckily, we have personal trainer and Lifestyle Advisor, Arron Collins-Thomas, on hand to educate us on how stress can affect the body and some top tips on how to beat it.
Stress is something that affects us all whether we realise it or not. Some stress can be good for you but continued stress often has damaging effects to the body.
Everyday stress can come in many forms which can come out in symptoms such as headaches, high blood pressure, poor sleep and stomach/digestive issues.
We all react to stress in different ways so it’s not always easy to tell when you are highly stressed or whether it’s affecting your health.
The body is designed to deal with stress, which is managed by the release of the hormone cortisol. When the body is faced with a stressor, cortisol is released and the body adapts the ‘flight or fight’ mode – shutting down the digestive system, inhibiting the immune system, pumping fuel into our muscles and ultimately preparing our body for ‘action’.
In short bursts, this output of cortisol is beneficial. However, when the body is in a constant state of stress, the adrenal glands, which produce cortisol, become exhausted and the consequences can lead to adrenal dysfunction and ultimately fatigue leading to increased infections, food intolerance, weight gain, exhaustion and potentially chronic illness.
Top tips to help beat the stress of everyday life:
- Go for a walk at lunchtime or after work – A 10-minute brisk walk after a meal not only increases your metabolism and assists your digestion, but also increases your insulin sensitivity and supports blood sugar management and energy levels.
- Daily Digital Detox – Turn your phone off or put it in flight mode for a few hours a day.
- Spend time with your friends in person not on a device and remember to laugh at least once each day!
- Buy some plants in your works space and around the home. Plants can brighten a space and also help to purify the air.
- Get into meditation! It’s a great way to calm the body and mind.