Is Stress to Blame? How Stress Impacts Your Physical Health and Fitness

Thursday, July 9, 2020 - 16:23
There’s a significant amount of stress in the world right now.  No doubt, you’ve probably suffered your fair share of stress caused by recent events, as well. We know that physical exercise can alleviate stress and protect our bodies, but do you know how stress can impact your health and fitness?  Stress impacts nearly every major system in our bodies and to function at its best, we need to recognize when stress attacks and take active measures to push back.

1. Stress can negatively impact your fitness goals.  Have you been working out during the shut-down only to find that you’re not seeing the results and gains that you normally see?  You’re not alone.  Stress can make it more difficult to lose weight, improve muscle tone, and concentrate on the moves to avoid injury.  When we fail to see the improvements we crave, we can become less motivated to keep pushing forward toward our goals.  If you’ve noticed this happening to you, rest assured that you are not alone. This is your body’s natural response to dealing with an uptick in stress.  You’re still making gains even if you don’t see the level of improvement you’re accustomed to.  As the physical exercise alleviates stress from the body, the body can more easily begin to challenge itself to get you closer to your goals.  Keep moving forward!

2. Stress can make you ill.  Chronic stress can literally make you feel physically ill.  Even if you never suffer the major threats of stress on the body like heart attacks and strokes, you may still suffer from a less robust immune system, report less energy, and feel aches and pains that you don’t normally experience.  Making time for physical exercise and meditation to combat the ills of stress is critical for remaining healthy during these unprecedented times.  By allowing for your workout to be a priority in your day, you make time to step away from whatever may be stressing you and counteract any negative emotions with the feel-good endorphins enjoyed after a great workout.  A good workout can also make it easier to fall asleep at night, which not only helps you stay physically well, but also mentally rested and prepared to take on new challenges.

3. It’s okay to slow down.  If you’re feeling a tremendous amount of stress right now, this may not be the time to jump into any major, new physical fitness goals.  Maybe right now, your goal should be to maintain your current level of fitness and a healthy weight.  As you pursue total body wellness at FitClub, it’s important to remember that working towards balance is a form of wellness.  If you feel as though you have too much on your mind and chasing your huge goal has become a stressor, it’s okay to dial it back and focus on preserving your current level of fitness until you start to feel the benefits of a renewed fitness program.