Stress is going to be one of the unknown enemies to getting fit. Why? The answer is cortisol. Cortisol is essentially the stress hormone that is releases in the body during times of stress. According to Medical Author Melissa Conrad Stoppler, MD,
“Cortisol has many actions in the body, and one ultimate goal of cortisol secretion is the provision of energy for the body. Cortisol stimulates fat and carbohydrate metabolism for fast energy, in addition to stimulating insulin release and maintenance of blood sugar levels. The end result of these actions is an increase in appetite. Therefore, chronic stress, or poorly managed stress, may lead to elevated cortisol levels that stimulate your appetite, with the end result being weight gain or difficulty losing unwanted pounds.”
All you really need to know is “Too much stress = Bad”. However, the title of this blog post is not how to avoid stress, it is how to MANAGE stress. Stress is inevitable so avoiding it is impossible. However there are a few things you can do to help manage your stress.
1) Talk (or Zoom) your friends
Stress is the body’s reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. When you talk to friends or family, your body is already adjusted to them because you are so used to seeing them often. Hence, why you aren’t stressed around them (usually).
2) Go For Walks/Runs
Walking or running gives you a break from your current environment. It gives your body some room to breathe and think clearly. So next time you are frustrated, mad, or stressed, go for a walk. You better not be walking to a 7/11 though!
3) Do something you enjoy doing
This goes back to being in a familiar environment relieves some stress. When you enjoy doing something you typically are focused on that thing alone. It can be a project you are working on or even video games. The beauty is it DOESN’T MATTER what it is, as long as it doesn’t lead to eternal laziness, in which case you might want to rethink what you enjoy doing.