Have you ever; almost wrecked your car, had to speak in public, been in a fight, bounced a check, stepped on your laptop, had a difficult conversation, failed a test, got lost, had plans change unexpectedly, have someone speed up when you put your blinker on, have someone say no to you? All of these are stressors and whether they are serious issues or not, the body responds the same way physiologically. The degree of the response from the body is relative to the stressor but there is a response.
If any of the above have happened to you(they have all happened to me)think back to how your body responded. Your heart rate speeds up, you get that hollow feeling in the pit of your stomach, this is actually your body slowing down your digestion, you flush because blood is pumped to the muscles readying you for a response. If you do not need to respond physically, you sit there shaking. Sound familiar? We have all been there a time or two. This is called the fight or flight response and is a very helpful response, if we are being attacked and have to fight for our lives. Not so helpful if we are constantly bogged down with little stressors with no plan for dealing with them.
Take a look at the picture below? Notice anything about the stress response and what we have been preaching about the ills of processed foods?
They are almost identical. The point is, you can get your nutrition dialed in, exercise frequently and still have all of the same issues because of stress. Often, these things that are causing you this constant stress are not in your control. What you do have control over is how you react to these things and what you do to reduce the stress in your life. Stress management strategies may include: Exercise , relaxation techniques, fostering healthy friendships, getting plenty of sleep,professional counseling or psychotherapy. How you deal with stress is a personal thing, as what calms and soothes one person can be very different from what works for another.
We just want you to be aware of the effects of constant stress and it's effect on your health and fitness goals. If you have been following our nutrition prescription and not seeing the results you would like, this could be the issue.