How Chronic Stress Affects Your Fitness

Stress can affect your health negatively. Stress doesn’t have to be something awful. It can occur with wonderful surprises in life. Getting married or going on a vacation can be just as stressful as losing a job. The worse type of stress is chronic stress. Chronic stress affects your fitness even if the stress seems minor. That’s why working out is so important. Exercise helps burn off the flight-or-fight hormones of stress that causes changes to your body and affect your health and fitness.

What are the stress hormones and how do they affect your fitness?

A lot of changes go on in your body when you experience danger, real or imagined. The body sends out messengers like cortisol, adrenaline and norepinephrine, that changes how your body functions to prepare it for escape or battle. Those changes can affect your overall health, but so can some of the hormones, like cortisol. Cortisol can cause the body to accumulate weight around the mid-section. While you might immediately think of stressful situations like car accidents or other dangerous situation, stress can come from simple things like a crying baby or angry boss.

Watch your blood pressure rise when you’re under stress.

Cortisol not only puts weight on around your middle, but also can cause your glucose levels to rise, as well as the substance that repairs body tissues. Norepinephrine increases blood flow to the muscles, to aid in running or fighting, while redirecting blood flow to the digestive system. Adrenaline makes your heartbeat faster, while sending more blood to the brain and increasing blood pressure. It causes pupils to get larger and makes you sweat. If the body doesn’t fight, run or simulate those actions, it doesn’t burn off those hormones and you remain in a readiness state that takes its toll on your body.

Many doctor’s visits could be eliminated if stress is under control.

Are you finding you’re too tired to workout? It might be from adrenaline fatigue that comes from adrenaline insufficiency caused by stress. Is your belly getting bigger regardless of how much you eat? You might have too much cortisol. Stress can make losing weight harder and feeling your best impossible. Many of the doctor’s visits wouldn’t be necessary if it weren’t for stress. You need the fight-or-flight response to survive and escape serious accidents or situations, but unlike caveman, most of the stress modern man feels isn’t life threatening and the changes it creates remain.

  • Stress can cause premature aging. The chromosomes are protected by telomeres that are shortened by stress. It can affect everything from skin and muscle tissue and even your vision.
  • Stress hormones can also cause cravings that ae unhealthy, such as those high in sugar and highly processed. Not only does relieving stress help reduce those cravings, but it also helps you eat healthier.
  • When you burn off stress hormones with exercise, you not only boost your immune system, you’ll lower your blood pressure and get better control of blood glucose levels.
  • Stress can lead to periodontal disease and tooth grinding. It can create anxiety and depression. It also can interrupt sleep, a time the body does repairs. Burning off those hormones help all those problems.

For more information, contact us today at Upfit Academy

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