If you are stressed or not sleeping properly having a healthy body might be next to impossible. We live in a high paced world and are constantly on the go so sometimes it's hard to take a minute and slow down and listen to what our body is telling us A well rounded health plan should include exercising properly, managing stress and making sure you are getting enough sleep. Here are a few tips to help in each department...
Stress whether it comes from work, school, family or personal issues, can wreak havoc on the body. Stress causes the body to go into fight or flight mode, triggering a cascade of different issues. It disrupts digestion, increases blood sugar levels (hello carb cravings) and causes the body to pump out hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Ultimately high stress levels leave us feeling exhausted and unmotivated.
So, how do you manage stress? Make the time to prioritize yourself. Maybe that means waking up a little bit early in the morning to get organized. Maybe that means taking a moment to your enjoy your coffee, or quiet the mind for 10-15 minutes to set the tone for the day. Use stress management techniques such as deep breathing, meditation or perhaps trying a yoga class. If there are specific things in your life that are causing stress (like family or finances) make a plan and take the necessary actions to address these.
Talk to someone whom you trust if. Bottling emotions up inside and ignoring certain cues (like getting sick) can lead to issues down the road and feelings of overwhelm. Often when we are feeling stressed or overwhelmed we feel like we are alone in the battle. Open up to someone, you might find you are not alone. Half of the time my coaching sessions end up being more of a counselling session and I am totally okay with that! When we want to get healthy we often look at the body first, but addressing the mind is also equally and if not more important.
Sleep in an underrated component of living a healthy lifestyle. I see it all the time, especially living in bigger cities. We are all in a rush to get to the next job, go to the next meeting, get our workouts in and have a social life. Being able to function on less sleep has almost been glorified in our society. Not getting enough sleep can effect your cognitive functions, increase stress and inhibit our body from producing hormones like ghrelin and leptin (hormones that control hunger and satiety) making you crave carbs and sugar.
Try limiting social media at night aim to and shut it off at least an hour before you intend to go to bed. Take a moment to read or maybe have a bath to help wind down. Make sure your room is cool and dark as well.
A couple of supplements that help with sleep are melatonin, magnesium citrate and 5-HTP.
We have heard that high intensity interval training is the key to fat burning but it is easy to over due it. Bootcamp, spin, tabata are all excellent workouts, but in moderation. You want to include lower impact workouts like a light jog, power walk or yoga for active recovery.
This is particularly important for individuals who suffer with hormonal imbalances as HIIT workouts can do more harm than good. Going back to stress, HIIT workout can cause our bodies to go into stress mode and overwork our adrenal glands and in some cases actually cause us to hold onto weight.
Whatever your workout schedule is it's so important to listen to your body. If you are tired or exhausted, take a break.
My typical week looks something like this:
Sunday- Long run
Monday- Weight training
Tuesday- HIIT (usually a stair workout)
Wednesday-Weight training and incline walk
Thursday- Active rest day- power walk, light jog or a yoga class
Friday- Weight training
Saturday- Active rest day- hike, yoga or a walk
I do some form of exercise everyday, even if its just a 30 minute walk or jog or even some stretching. My day doesn't feel complete without it.
Health truly is a balance. Not only is it healthy eating, its getting enough sleep, exercising and managing your stress.
Check out my 7 Day Reset Guide if you want more tips!
Let me know how you do and as always I am here for questions.
Your's in health,