Understanding Stress

Stress increases the hormone cortisol, which can lead to  fat being deposited in and around the abdomen. This is because  the adrenal hormone releases a good supply of stored sugar (from both  liver and  muscles) into the bloodstream, causing insulin to change  it into fat. Types of stress could be contact with poison ivy,  receiving a burn or an injury, loss of a loved one, fighting with your  spouse, dealing with an angry employer, constipation, not sleeping, getting a hot  flash, watching the news (usually negative), reading the newspaper  (death, scandal, hurricanes) or hanging out with negative people, as well  as having pain  or inflammation in your body. If you have pain, cortisol  is raised. Pain can prevent weight loss because the hormone cortisol  raises sugar and  blocks fat from being burned.

moderate exerciseExercise can reduce stress; however, exercise can also increase stress on the body because it increases cortisol. The goal is to  exercise in a way so    as to not raise cortisol too much. This would mean keeping your pulse  rate low during exercise. Weight training is  resistance-type exercise and increases cortisol unless you do fewer repetitions and  rest between them. You also would not want to exercise over soreness.

 

 

If you do have stress symptoms, taking steps to manage your stress can have numerous health benefits. Explore stress management strategies such as:

  • Physical activity
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Tai chi

 

 

Common effects of stress …
… On your body … On your mood … On your behavior
  • Headache
  • Muscle tension or pain
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Change in sex drive
  • Stomach upset
  • Sleep problems
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Lack of motivation or focus
  • Irritability or anger
  • Sadness or depression
  • Overeating or undereating
  • Angry outbursts
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Tobacco use
  • Social withdrawal
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2 Comments

  1. Josphine Guziec says:

    The amount of sleep we need, and its pattern, changes with age. Small babies spend most of their time asleep; children need more sleep than adults, and small children need a nap during the day. Sleep patterns change again during adolescence. Most adults need about 7 or 8 hours sleep per night, although some people seem to need less, and some a bit more. Older people often go back to sleeping for shorter periods and have a nap during the day.

  2. Morgan Mautone says:

    People who don’t manage stress well can have headaches, stomach pain, sleeping problems, illness, and depression. You can help manage stress by journaling, meditating, exercising, talking to others, or engaging in a hobby.

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