Is this you?  Well as far as I can tell, this is how we all seem to be living our lives right now… excessively S.T.R.E.S.S.E.D! Stress will take it’s toll on your body and not in a particularly good way. Sometimes a small amount of stress can motivate us to take on exciting tasks but when it becomes overwhelming then we need to take action.  Some symptoms of excessive stress are; weight gain or weight loss, high blood pressure, neck and backaches, dizziness, getting emotional over unusual issues, lack of sleep or concentration and frequent illnesses that keep you away from work.

When you are under a lot of stress and strain your adrenal glands produce more hormones which in turn increase your blood pressure and heart rate. This reaction can cause symptoms in any of the organs or systems in the body such as the digestive system and can also create some long term problems if not addressed. By increasing the rate at which the adrenal glands are producing hormones, increases metabolism of nutrients so they are available for the body to use as energy.  Although that may sound good, there is a downside apart from all the side affects already mentioned! You will also lose protein and potassium more quickly as well as decreasing the storage of calcium in your body.  So the need for good quality nutrients are necessary during times of stress.  You can see that as your metabolism increases due to stress, your stores of required nutrients will become depleted more quickly which will lead to those niggling bugs and colds or longterm illnesses.

A balanced diet is the best way to get through stressful times but sometimes it’s the sugary, fatty foods that we crave which only makes things worse.  These foods do not replace the required nutrients that you have lost so just leads to more stress, more illness, a vicious circle.

By putting some quick and simple measures in place, you may just be able to keep better control of stress and live a better quality of life.

1) Eat a well balanced diet, that means preparation, I know I probably say that every post, but it really is key to a balanced diet.  If you don’t prepare your food then you will likely end up eating an unbalanced meal from the store.  Grainy breads, fruits, veggies, protein and “brown” carbohydrates. Remember that good quality carbs are good for the brain.  Refined carbs just place more stress on your body so please avoid, avoid, avoid! Caffeine try to limit your coffees, chocolate and alcohol.

2) Exercise, ideally 60 mins per day, however, this just isn’t manageable in some cases so, split your workouts up, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.  Personal Trainers are great for getting you up and out of bed for your workouts and you don’t even need to think about what you are doing, we do that for you!! If you don’t want anyone to see you then get yourself a Wii and they have a number of fitness games you can try.  Or join a group for motivation.

3) Relaxation, don’t forget that you also need and are allowed to relax! It’s actually a really important thing to do.  Mediation, yoga, or even cooking can be relaxing!

B-complex vitamins are a great nutrient for the nervous system and can be found in a number of foods, if not you can take a good supplement or make up a great soup! I’ll post my stress relieving soup in the next post!

If you would like any further information about how to manage stress or for a healthy eating programme, training programme or some personal training, please do get in touch.

Thanks for reading!

Angie :o)