Reducing Stress – some tips

The impacts of Stress

From evidence-based studies, these are some reported impacts of stress on the human body:

  1. Increased weight gain, especially abdominal fat.
  2. Increased blood pressure
  3. Increased likelihood of heart attack and stroke
  4. Increased likelihood of developing depression or/and anxiety symptoms
  5. Decreased testosterone levels
  6. Sleep conditions such as insomnia
  7. Gut or digestive symptoms or disorders

The impacts of stress are less easily “seen” until often too late and the symptoms are physical in nature, from a psychological cause.  This is why its critical to help decrease stress levels that you accumulate. Exercise happens to be one of the BEST ways to help decrease stress levels.

What are some key ways to decrease stress leve

Sleep

  • Studies have shown that good sleep is critical in helping with your brain function, decreasing cortisol (stress hormone) levels and increasing overall productivity.
  • Studies have shown that good sleep is critical in helping with your brain function, decreasing cortisol (stress hormone) levels and increasing overall productivity
  • How much should you get? That’s very independent but studies show that at least 6 hours preferable 8 hours a night. As a business owner, I can relate to laughing at this statement and asking, “how do we do this?” Well, the points below will help.

What can I do to improve my sleep, if I take ages to go to sleep?

      1. Talk to your GP – they can suggest different ways to help regulate sleep. If the first thing they suggest is sleeping pills, then you have the wrong GP.
      2. You can talk to a dietitian or GP about some supplements that are on the market that can help decrease cortisol levels and help sleep. I have utilized ATP Science’s Cort RX for about 3 months now and I have found this very beneficial. However, everyone is different and I would really recommend talking to a GP or Dietitian first before using supplements of any sort. I did not have any sleep issues prior to taking this, however I have found my experience to be that my sleep is of more quality after taking Cort RX. Information about this supplement is best found on the ATP Science website

Exercise

  • Studies have shown that a variety of exercise modalities can be utilized to help decrease stress levels in the body. From my experience and using the research as a guide, everyone is different.
  • Everyone’s optimal arousal state is different, and this may have a bearing on what exercise will work for you. For decreasing stress, I find there is nothing better for me to do a high intensity training session.
  • However if trying to use exercise to help sleep, I find it the opposite. I find high intensity exercise decreases my perceived stress levels, however it wakes me up for hours! So, light to moderate aerobic exercise for many people is more effective to decrease stress and help sleep!

Organisation

  • These are some tips I have received in the past to help decrease stress levels:
    • Before going to bed “purge” on paper, or typing it down if this is better for you everything you did not get done that day, and anything you need to get done tomorrow. Don’t over analyse, just get thoughts out in a list, so in the morning you can organize them ready to go.
    • If you own a business, or you are a manager learn how to be a GOOD delegator. Something I am still working on, but have a process of how you delegate, and what you need more or less feedback on, so your team know when they should provide you feedback. This helps with work stress.
  • For what to eat, as this is a major stress point for people trying to change body composition: Prepare lunch meals once or twice a week and have them so you just pick them up in the morning. It takes thinking out of the picture and stops you going and buying food you do not need during the day. Plan what you are eating once to twice a week so you know what you are doing for breakfast and dinners. If you travel a lot, develop relationships with people around you so you know where the good places to stay are that do better quality food. Quality nutrition is number one when trying to change your body composition. It takes a long time to out train a bad couple of days away, eating essentially junk food.

 CONCLUSION

These are some tips from my experience and research I have read. I hope they help you with managing and decreasing stress in your life! Feel free to comment with your strategies or tips you have used to help people.

Stress generally builds up over time in the body.  The way it has been explained in the past is that you reach a point where the body cannot fit any more stress in, and thats when you start displaying more severe symptoms, which is generally a very strong warning sign that your body and brain is sending you to do something about it.  If you think you are currently affected by high stress levels, talking to your GP is one of the best first steps you can take, so they can help you make a plan to try to help you manage your stress.  There are plenty of good options available!

Team VHAP Challenge

Start November till end December 2018, we are coordinating a challenge that is about you!  We recognise that everyone is working hard at the moment, and we want to show you how exercise, nutrition and the way you think can integrate to help you still achieve your health and fitness goals!  Its about what you want. Every plan is going to be based around an individual plan!  Get on board by registering your interest below!

 

REGISTER – TEAM VHAP challenge 

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