Fitness and Stress

Stress comes from the basic human instinct of fight or flight. When the body responds this way, breathing and heart rate increases, supply more blood to the muscles, pupils dilate, increase in sweat production along with increase in production of adrenaline and cortisol. 

In the physical action which is associated with flight or flight, the resultant productions of these symptoms are used up to fuel the action. While years ago this response required a physical reaction, today’s stresses don’t require a physical reaction, yet the body still responds the same way, leaving the body unable to return to its normal harmonised state. This is the physical resultant in stress and the reason it leads to heart disorders and health problems, and while stress can manifest itself in many ways, it all comes down to not living a balanced lifestyle.

Addressing what makes you stressed can be easy, but dealing with it and reducing it can be the hard part. By taking regular exercise you give the body an outlet to use the waste products produced from stress while improving the body’s ability to function, improving heart and lung function, musculoskeletal and muscular function and performing physic actions required by flight (Cardio work) or fight (Resistance training).           

All the automatic systems of the body are controlled by the autonomic nervous system. This system has two control branches these are; sympathetic, which is responsible for action and energy and parasympathetic, which deals with regeneration and relaxation. People who are dynamic, ever seeking greater challenges and personal achievements are said to be sympathetic dominated people, while the quiet, laid back person are said to be parasympathetic dominated. Ideally you are looking for a good balance of these two sides when dealing with stress.
Anything which puts stresses on the body, puts it out of balance, this can be a lack of sleep, what we eat and drink, and the quality of our environments which we live in. By making sure we lead a balanced and healthy lifestyle, managing daily stresses all helps to promote short and long term health benefits.

We all have times where the stresses are short term and unavoidable, during these times its important to maintain a simple fitness regime and make time for yourself and for the body to recover and relax.