How Financial Stress Makes You Fat
A recent poll by the American Psychological Association showed 80% of Americans are stressed about the economy. So far this year, more people reported stress induced physical and
emotional problems including fatigue, irritability, anger and insomnia than the entire 2007.
Adding insult to injury, almost half of those surveyed are self-medicating
by overeating or indulging in unhealthy foods while others drink alcohol & smoke to ‘cope’.
Those methods not only don’t help you cope because the economic stressor does not change no matter how much crap you put in your body. But also , ask yourself this – how do YOU feel emotionally AFTER every time you eat crappy food or drink alcohol?
That’s right. More stressed than before.
In scientific terms that’s called a Double Whammy!
So your already stressed and now you just made yourself fatter and caused more physical stress to your body. This might be good for Snackwells or Capt. Morgan, but bad for your waistline.
Your health is more vulnerable right now which means it is CRUCIAL to eat better, exercise appropriately and get to bed on time so you can truly cope with stressors and feel good about yourself while going thru this mess.
So, what does stress have to do with flat abs?
The more stress you have, the more cortisol you produce.
Cortisol is stress hormone. We need it to deal. But too much causes problems – very serious problems.
Belly fat, also known as the Muffin Top, is one of the problems associated with too much cortisol.
More importantly than how flat your abs are – is how alive you want to be!
Cortisol damages brain cells and is also cardio toxic (poisonous to your heart) – you probably already know
that there are more heart attacks on Monday mornings, right?
Cortisol makes you forget and interferes with your sleep. It also prevents fat loss.
Cortisol is a bitch. At least too much of it is.
And the more cortisol you pump out because you are not managing your stress, the less sex hormones you produce. That means many important things for your overall health, your ability to burn fat and continue dealing with stress. At this point, you are quickly heading towards Burnout!
So here are some real fitness, nutrition and stress management tips that work to relieve stress and reduce cortisol and yes, will also help you prevent getting a Muffin Top.
If you take responsibility for your health, manage your perception of the stressor and truly love your self –> you will improve your health and can even lose body fat during this economic crisis. Hell Yeah!
Although most people think cardio and running is healthy, they are DEAD wrong.
Aerobic work produces cortisol. The more you run, the more cortisol you produce.
The more you run, the more ‘feel good’ hormones (endorphins, enkephalins, dopamine, serotonin) are released which is why you get the ‘runners high’. The more you get high, the more carbs you will crave.
Exercise that Reduces Stress –
Any mind-body exercise that helps you get centered and quiets the mind will help you balance your hormone levels and cope with any stressor better than cardio.
Yoga is really popular but its not the only effective mind-body technique. I am NOT a fan of Bikram or hot yoga. Too stressful for most. Find an authentic yoga school that plays Indian music, stays true to its original teachings, has altars, bells and burns incense in between classes and anything else that you used to think was ‘weird’. These trendy modern yoga schools that try to be hip are so played out and much less effective.
Qigong is also very valuable. Tai Chi. The Franklin Method. Most forms of Dance (except for the type where you chew on day glow sticks, wear fake contact lenses and listen to annoying computerized techno or house music). Feldenkrais. Chek Zone Training. Lotte Berk. PIlates and meditation are just a few methods that work really well.
The goal is to reduce heart rate and blood pressure, balance your energy, center your perspective, learn to breathe and be present with and embrace any challenge you face.
If you love to strength train, here are some guidelines that will help you manage stress levels.
Reduce your workouts to 20 minutes of Total Body workouts. Warm up properly and progress into your workout without any rest. Instead of using heavy weights, use lighter weights for the time being, perform technical exercises on the Swiss ball and one leg balance exercises that challenge your mind and body in new & different ways.
When you need to rest, do a stretch, such as a kneeling hip flexor or chest stretch on Swiss ball.
Workout out in morning or afternoon and outside if possible and DO NOT watch TV while working out!
I am filming exercises right now so you will all get cool videos in the next few days of these stretches and mind-body exercises later this weekend. Stay ultra focused on your workouts and clear your mind. Be present and get out of your head and into your body. Focus on movements, not muscles.
Now, I can go on for days about this topic and there are many aspects I can cover. So please let me know what you want over the next few days!
Do you want Mind-Body Exercise? Strength training tips?
Nutrition or cooking tips to stay lean and focused during any crisis?
Mindset & coping techniques to balance your perspective and respond to any challenge with peace of mind and come out successful?
Please let me know and you can come out on top no matter what is happening in teh economy.