STRESS AND WEIGHT LOSS!
Stress - We all have it! And we are all aware of the psychological effects of it, but what you may not know, is the physiological effects that stress can have. If not dealt with, in the long term, stress can cause damage to the immune system, cardiovascular and other systems via neural and endocrine mechanisms. Stress causes a hormone called cortisol to be released. Cortisol can have a number of negative effects on the body which include increased blood pressure, cholesterol and risk of heart disease...the list goes on and on.
For the avid fitness enthusiast, cortisol is their worst enemy as it can prevent fat loss and even muscle gain. However, this only happens if cortisol levels get out of control. When cortisol levels become elevated for long periods of time, your body may become insulin resistant and hyperinsulinemia (excess insulin in the blood) may be a result. These can lead to weight gain and the degradation of muscle mass which slow down the metabolism and set the stage for a variety of health problems. Over and above this, as cortisol levels increase, so do ghrelin levels (ghrelin is the hormone that stimulates appetite). This hunger may then drive us to overeat and therefore, further weight gain may ensue. Elevated stress hormones also put our bodies into a catabolic state. This is essentially the destructive phase of cell life which can lead to the loss of muscle mass, bone loss, immune system depression and even brain shrinkage.
HERE ARE 4 EXTREMELY SIMPLE WAYS IN WHICH WE CAN REDUCE STRESS AND LOWER CORTISOL LEVELS:
This sounds simple enough, but you would be surprised how many people don’t take the time to sit down, read a good book, listen to music or even just spend some time socializing with friends. Try to take at least half an hour every day to do something you really enjoy.
Physical activity helps to increase the production of your brain's ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitters, called endorphins. It can also help improve your mood and boost self-confidence which will lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety.
Getting a good night’s sleep allows us to tackle the day’s stress more easily. When we are tired, we tend to become more impatient and are more easily agitated, which can increase stress levels. Most adults require an average of 8 hours sleep per night. This may vary slightly either up or down but is dependent on the quality of sleep. The better your sleep quality, the quicker you should be able to recover and de-stress.
Take anti-stress supplements like B vitamins, minerals like calcium and zinc as well as anti-oxidants like beta carotene, vitamin C and selenium. These supplements will not only help lower cortisol levels but will also help decrease the effects of stress on the body by improving the immune system. For a supplement which contains all the above mentioned ingredients to combat stress as well as an energy boosting complex , check out Super B Injection from Revite. So how do you know if you are stressed? Well, we decided to hook up with Relationship Consultant, Ali Murray and a scientific stress test was developed that will assist you in understanding your stress status. By taking the free test, you will discover the areas that need to be dealt with in order to achieve balance. Know you stress status, take this no-strings-attached, free stress test now. Results are provided immediately.
*Article written by Dean Fenwick from Fitness101