Day 10: Turn Down the Intensity
Before diving into today’s topic, let’s redefine the word stress. Typically we think of mental or emotional stress that we encounter from work, relationships, or decision making when hearing the word stress.
STRESS IS ANYTHING THAT CREATES A BURDEN ON THE BODY
Stressors can also be inflammatory foods, lack of sleep, toxins, and exercising too intensely when your body is already depleted.
Stress initiates inflammation – the root of all dysfunction, especially when it comes to hormones.
We tend to overindulge in naughty and nice foods during the holidays – eggnog, holiday cocktails, cookies, or other sweet treats. The common response then is to “work off” all the indulgences. It seems reasonable, right?
Intense exercise can stress the body even more, when it’s already under a LOT of stress from traveling and holiday happenings. Hitting the gym hard after a late night, getting poor sleep, indulging in holiday treats, or when dealing with a lot of emotional stress is actually the exact opposite of what your body probably needs.
When the body is already dealing with a burden of stress, intense exercise can put more strain on hormones such as cortisol, estrogen, thyroid, and testosterone and have the exact opposite effect of what you hope it would be doing.
Instead of running, hitting the weights hard, or pushing yourself in a class, opt for some movement that is more restorative such as:
- A nice long walk
- A yoga class or pilates
- Interval training with 1-2 minute breaks to recover between sets
Moving your body daily is essential for hormone balance too. Just be mindful of what your body can do on a day-to-day basis depending on the collection of stressors you might have encountered over the last 24-48 hours.
So trust me and your body. Turn down the intensity. Your hormones will thank you.
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