Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Good Stress: Bad Stress

Are you stressed out?

Is Stress Good?
Is Stress Bad?

Yes, there's good stress and there's bad stress. Let's look further:

There's physical stress and emotional stress.  We may even add a third stress, called metabolic or nutritional stress.

Physical Stress

Physical stress is defined as anything that affects your physical body.  Physical stress can be cardiovascular exercise, resistance training and/or stretching.  If it puts a strain on your muscles, organs or blood supply it is physical stress. When you exercise you are "stressing" your body. 

During exercise, your body actually breaks down, only to repair itself during recovery.  Exercise is a good stress when it repairs itself and becomes stronger.  Exercise is a bad stress (called over training) when you don't allow the body to recovery and repair itself.

Emotional Stress

Emotional stress is a person's response to external or internal stimuli, often causing a "fight or flight" response, often seen as a negative, as in "over-stressed".  A certain amount of stress is a good thing.  It stimulates the body (mind) into action or performance.  Some people, in a constant state of zen, are simply not motivated to take action, therefore, some stress may move them into action.

Other people, internalize an abundance of stress, creating anxiety, tension, nervousness, fear, doubt and worry.  Stress can escalate into rage, anger and even depression.  See chart below:

Heart Zones is an excellent resource for Emotional Fitness Training.

When stress occurs repeatedly, it is called chronic stress.  Chronic stress is a dangerous condition that has multiple side effects:

Stress Can Make You Stupid
Stress Can Make You Ill
Stress Can Make You Fat
Stress Can Kill

Your body is meant to handle stress.  When you're stressed, your body releases cortisol to decrease stress; that's cortisol's job in the body.  But, when you're over stressed, and your body makes too much cortisol, the message is, "Kathy's body is under attack and I must protect it.  I will send fat to her midsection to protect her vital organs."  Thus, individuals who are under chronic stress, often see an increase in belly fat.

So, remember, that some stress is a good thing, but too much stress is not.  Take time to sit and relax both mentally and physically.  It's that important.

If you need some additional help coping with stress, contact a qualified health counselor or your doctor.

And remember, EXERCISE can help lower your stress.

Living 365fitt,

365fitt is about training for the event called LIFE, focusing on physical, nutritional and emotional wellness through lifestyle adaptations.  Kathy is available for personal training and wellness consultations and corporate wellness.  365fitt invites you to participate in a Healthy Active Living trip to incredible destinations.  Please visit 365fitt for more information.  Live 365fitt!

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