As you already know I’m massive on sleep and stress, these are the 2 most common dysfunctions I see in people and 2 massive problems when we’re trying to achieve body composition goals! Both will totally roadblock all results!
I speak a lot about sleep but today I want to talk to you about stress a bit more and how it affects us on a biological level.
All physiological systems of the body are finely tuned through 10,000’s of years of vigorous evolution in an attempt to achieve a state of predetermined balance (homeostasis)
As society has evolved our physiology hasn’t been able to keep up, now as our daily stressors increase and become more frequent our physiology just can’t deal with that and as a long term result we can develop serious illnesses, as a short-term result stress, physical, mental and perceived, can have a negative effect on immune functionality, GROWTH, reproduction and METABOLISM!!! Some very important factors to consider when we’re talking about composition goals.
If you want to know more, keep reading, if not just skip to the paragraph below the dotted lines.
The stress mechanism is a cascade of chemical reactions inside the body designed as a survival technique. Pupils dilate, adrenaline is signalled, blood is taken away from the digestive system and pumped towards the limbs, nutrients are taken away from internal organs and placed at the muscle cell all in preparation for performance so to deal with the stressor. Whilst these chemical reactions take place the body loses the ability to change to the training stimulus that we’ve created. Growth and Fat loss cease!!!!!!!! In actual fact the stress mechanism chemical pathways are completely catabolic in nature, yep, if you are highly stressed your physique will go backwards!
Not only does stress affect us on a physiological level but it also affects our characteristics and can affect the way we deal with situations and treat people. Something to think about there!!
Ok, so this is 2018 and I understand that stress is a part of life, so what do we do????
Stress is a part of life and with stress comes success so we can’t avoid it, unless you want to move to Bali and become a little monk over there. We need to understand the function of stress and create self-awareness around it.
My top tips for reducing stress:
- deep belly breathing every morning and night, this activity has completely changed my life.
- every night writing down the jobs that need completing the next day.
- listening to my favourite music on the way home.
- incorporating beach walks into my weekly schedule.
- Rhodiola Rosea supplement.
There’s also a term called neuroperception which is where you don’t feel stressed but actually the same chemical reactions are still taking place. I see this in most evidently in high powered executives, thy become so use to be stressed that it becomes the norm for them. The same things happen but they don’t perceive the stress. Crazy hey?!
As long as you’re taking time to de-stress and switch to your para-sympathetic nervous system it’s perfectly fine and you’ll still progress. Chronic or prolonged periods of elevated stress are what cause us serious issues.
Health and Nutrition Specialist