Every day we deal with stress on some level. Sometimes our stress is obvious to us; sometimes we may not even realise that we are stressed.
The last 3 weeks have probably been some of the most stressful that I have put in, in a long time.
My long term goal of opening my own gym has suddenly been turned into an immediate necessity due to circumstances beyond my control.
I have spent the last 3 weeks on the phone and in meetings with equipment and flooring suppliers, banks and getting everything sorted with the leasing of the unit which will become the home of Rushe Fitness in the next few weeks.
As exciting as this is for me, it has not been a fun experience.
If you have ever started up a business you will understand the logistics that go into it on a personal and a financial level.
My sleep suffered, my training suffered, my nutrition suffered and an ulcer that I have not had any problems with for 20 years decided to rear its ugly head again and left me chewing on Gaviscon.
Thankfully, everything is almost in place and I am looking forward to opening the doors of Rushe Fitness.
Weight gain is something that your calorie intake will predominantly determine.
Stress however can also have an impact on your weight due to a hormone called Cortisol.
MayoClinic.com explains that cortisol is the body’s main stress hormone, released into your body when your brain perceives a situation as threatening.
In theory, cortisol helps your body fight off or flee from danger; but in reality, most people don’t face mortal danger in their daily lives.
Even so, your body can misinterpret daily stressors as sources of true danger, and release cortisol into your bloodstream in response.
According to MayoClinic.com, if your life remains constantly stressful, your stress response can “go haywire,” leading to chronically elevated cortisol levels.
Researchers from Columbia University explain that high cortisol levels can cause increased appetite, and also promotes excess fat storage in the abdominal area.
Cortisol has also been found to encourage the eating of sugar and fatty foods due to the influencing of the hypothalamus, which governs appetite.
Prolonged elevation in cortisol also has effects on muscle gain due to cortisol inhibiting protein synthesis, promoting protein breakdown, as well as countering the effects of other anabolic hormones, testosterone in particular.
Cortisol also makes your brain less sensitive to the effects of leptin, a protein produced by fatty tissue which is believed to regulate fat storage in the body, blunting its satiating signal.
This can leave you feeling more hungry than normal and can influence your eating choices.
Stress levels can be raised by something as simple as driving to work.
According to research funded by Audi, driving in chaotic urban traffic can be nearly as stressful for some people as skydiving.
Add onto this too much caffeine/sugar in your diet and a stressful job and you have the perfect cortisol cocktail.
So, what can we do to reduce this?
The Mayo Clinic suggests that to prevent weight gain during stress and reduce the risk of obesity, get a handle on your stress.
When you feel less stressed and more in control of your life, you may find it easier to stick to healthy eating and exercise habits.
Here are a few tips from them also.
Before eating, ask yourself why you’re eating — are you truly hungry or do you feel stressed or anxious?
Identify your comfort foods and keep them out of your home or office.
Practice relaxation skills, such as yoga, stretching, massage, deep breathing or meditation.
Engage in regular physical activity or exercise.
Get adequate sleep.
Get encouragement from supportive friends and family.
Stress is something that we will all face at some stage or another, knowing how to deal with it can make all the difference in your mental and physical health.
For further information on Personal Training or The Better Bodies Challenge, please contact me through the link below.
* Emmet is the owner and operator of Rushe Fitness