Stress arises when we find ourselves in a position we can’t cope with. The body interprets the situation as being dangerous and responds by releasing a number of hormones preparing us to ‘fight or flight’ – to fight the danger or run away from it. Our heart rate increases, blood pressure rises and the mind becomes focused on the ‘danger’ to hand. These mechanisms were designed to help our ancestors battle mammoths and other man-eating beasts – not to activate on the worry of whether we’ve completed everything on our to-do lists. THIS FIGHT OR FLIGHT RESPONCE IS NORMAL AND NECESARY IN OUR EVERYDAY LIFE FOR SURVIVAL!!!!
Although the body’s basic mechanism of responding to stress remains the same, modern-day stress is less sudden (acute) than facing mammoths but much more prolonged (chronic). When we remain in this prolonged fight or flight state our body releases a hormone called Cortisol. Cortisol can cause irritability, headaches, carbohydrate cravings, increased appetite and bloating – and make us store weight around our middle
Most of us know that chronic worrying and too much stress will produce negativeeffects in the body, but often we don’t know how to shed those negative feelings and relax. There are multiple kinds of exercise and activities that can help you reduce stress and loseweight at the same time. Some of these include practicing yoga, pilates or meditation, and playing sports or music. One of the best of all is consistent walking. Just keep this conceptin mind day by day.
Practitioners label yoga as a mind-body exercise because it melds physical and mental disciplines with the goal of achieving peacefulness of both body and mind. Yoga helps you relax and manage stress and anxiety, while at the same time the physical aspects (although yoga is considered “low impact”) will help tone muscles, improve flexibility, burn calories and aid in weight control. Yoga exercises will foster a calm, mindful state that can remain long after you are finished with each session. The breathing and mental focus used during these types of exercises can be greatly beneficial for anyone who feels the need to calm down after a stressful day.
Although yoga, tai chi, meditation, prayer and other activities are centuries old, modern research has been able to demonstrate evidence that these ancient practices really can help reduce stress and anxiety while improving mood and overall sense of well-being. This is yet another case of modern technology confirming ancient practices as being beneficial for the body and mind.
One of the best aspects of utilizing these methods to reduce stress and tone the body is that they require very little time investment. You can certainly find a studio and attend classes for Yoga and Pilates. In fact, most people who enjoy these different types of activities would probably recommend finding a studio with a teacher to help correct improper technique as well as offer guidance and advice.