It’s well known that stress invites a number of health ailments, and weight gain is one. Here are some ways to calm your body and soul.
When things go south in your life, it’s easy to numb the tension by overeating, eating the wrong things or skipping your usual workout session. Stress, sneaky little thing it is, can also make you fatter by upending how you metabolise fat and sugar.
A recent scientific study showed that the women in the study who were caregivers experiencing stress, had higher body fat levels, larger waistlines and chemical composition linked to obesity, than did women who were not caretakers. Women who experience stress often turn to food and unhealthy food choices such as those high in fat and sugar.
Metabolic changes in the body can be dangerous, increasing the possibility of heart issues, diabetes, as well as dreaded weight gain, which often can be hard to lose.
Turn off, tune out
In this technological age, we’re pressured to be “on” almost all the time. With so many people connected to their smartphones, laptops and tablets, at the end of the day the stress can pile on – especially if you rely on these gadgets for business. If you’re met with a huge load of emails to answer, then you may be subject to the stress of having to reply to all of them – and right away.
Experts say if you feel the real need to squeeze a bit of work in at home, just don’t do it before you hit the sack. Work issues as well as the blue light that emanates from electronic devices make it harder to fall asleep. You’re better off reading an old fashioned book to help you settle into downtime and relax into sleep mode.
Out of sight, out of mind
Those same experts implore you to change from your work clothes into something comfortable and comforting – as soon as you arrive home. You should also put your work items away to trick your mind into not thinking about work related issues – in order to help you relax.
It’s recommended that if you spend a lot of time at a desk during the day, a change of pace is great for the mind. Get out for a run, go for a swim or do something completely opposite to what you do during work hours.
Take it outside
It’s also proven that being in the great outdoors is a huge mood booster. Whether it’s walking through the woods, climbing a hill or sun bathing on a beach, getting in touch with your natural side will help your brain to extricate itself from the worries of the workday. Fresh air and natural colour tones also relax the mind. Why not try eating lunch or dinner outdoors or go on a picnic?
Set some chill time for yourself
It’s only natural to sometimes want to cram a bunch of fun activities into your weekend, but sometimes, that can make you even more exhausted and stressed out. Ideally, experts say, during the course of a busy weekend you should set aside about 30 minutes each day to stop, chill out and recoup. It’s a perfect time to read a book, meditate or listen to music.
Knitting or crocheting – activities which keep the hands moving in repetitively – can also serve as a sort of meditative exercise. Gardening has the same effect, with the ability to lower your heart rate as well as blood pressure.
Turning on the TV to relax can be a poor idea; all that channel flipping can aggravate and stress out a brain that is trying to calm itself. Unless there is a specific show you’re looking forward to, avoid channel surfing if you want to avoid low level stress.
Hit the reset button on your mind
Don’t believe there is a reset button? There is, and it’s called escapism. You don’t have to suffer the weekend – or the weeknight – with ongoing, intrusive thoughts of work. All you need to do is enjoy something that takes your mind to another place – going to the movies, a concert, sport event or any other activity that will engage your mind for a few hours.
Involve yourself with what is going on around you – take a deep breath and enjoy being in the moment. That’s a priceless prescription for kicking stress to the door.
At Warwick Women’s Workout, we are serious about your health, nutrition, fitness and well-being. Please get in touch with Michelle Monks, Gym Manager about the range of fitness options at our Perth facility. Contact us on (08) 9342 9028.