5 Skills For Preventing Chronic Stress

5 Skills For Preventing Chronic Stress

Stress is something that affects us all. Chronic stress is long-term stress that goes unimpeded over a long period of time.

The fear, flight or fight response is on for an extended time and adrenaline is pumping constantly. This places fatigue on the kidneys and the body’s entire system.

Many diseases are stress related; in fact, some experts estimate that up to 80% of all disease is stress related.

Stress is a key cause of many small and big health problems, including hypertension, headaches, insomnia, skin conditions, diabetes, depression, and anxiety just to name a few.

Knowing that stress has such an impact on our health, it is important to take steps to combat it to whatever extent we can.

The following are five everyday skills that will help you defuse some of your stress and keep you healthier and happier:

Exercise

Regular exercise is known to boost your immunity, improve heart health and blood circulation, increase the amount of oxygen coming in through the lungs and lower stress. It can also elevate mood as happiness endorphins are released during exercise.

A workout of low to moderate intensity can increase your vitality, reduce pain, and improve your sleep. Exercise helps relieve some of the tension associated with chronic stress.

Healthy Eating

Eating well is an essential part of reducing stress. Too much fat, red meat, carbohydrates, and sugar in the diet put stress on the heart and the arteries.

Chronic stress has been connected to the storage of fat around the middle.

To help reduce stress through diet, here is what you should be eating: A minimum of five, and up to ten portions of leafy greens and other vegetables and fruits each day; a small amount of lean meat, chicken or fish; a small amount of whole grains, or legumes (beans and lentils); nuts and seeds.

Relaxation

Learn how to relax all your muscles; you can start at your head and work your way to your toes. Clench one muscle group for a few seconds, and then release.

Move on to the next muscle group and repeat. As you relax, the stress response is turned off and the parasympathetic nervous system kicks in, aiding your digestion and your ability to experience peace and inner quiet.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the art of focusing on the present moment. Instead of worrying on the future or obsessing over the past, try focusing your mind on experiencing the present moment.

One way to do this is to become aware of your different senses: Listen to the sounds outside your window, feel the touch of your clothes on your skin, smell the aromas of your food, appreciate the colors around you, and notice the tastes of foods when you eat.

Sleep

A good night’s sleep will allow your body a deep and nourishing rest to heal itself; without good sleep stress is exacerbated.

To sleep well, avoid caffeine and other stimulants so that you can get an uninterrupted night’s sleep.

Turn all technology off an hour before you turn off the lights. Also, turn the lights down for a while before you actually go to sleep. Use your relaxation skills to help you fall into a deeper sleep.

Final Thoughts

With these easy, everyday skills under your belt, you are well equipped to combat stress. If you combine them all into your daily routine, you will undoubtedly see a reduction in your stress levels and an increase in your happiness levels.

Exercise, healthy eating, relaxation, mindfulness, and good sleep are key elements for achieving optimal health and wellbeing.

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What Is Metabolic Syndrome

What Is Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolism plays a big factor that not enough people think about when it comes to their health. Metabolic syndrome is a collection of three or more risk factors that are present because of the body’s inability to burn food properly throughout the day, or when exercising.

When the body can’t burn food as a fuel properly, it stores more fat – typically at nighttime – and when people exercise, they burn the food they eat as energy rather than fat cells.

Most people assume a fast metabolism is for skinny people and slow metabolism makes it hard to lose weight, but an unbalanced metabolism has more risk factors than just weight.

People with slow metabolisms are at a higher risk for increased blood pressure, high cholesterol, and insulin resistance – which all can lead to more diseases. Weight, age, race, diabetes and other factors all play a role in how your metabolism functions, and typically those who are older, out of shape, and have poor lifestyle choices run a higher risk for metabolic diseases.

The reason thinner people have a higher metabolism is because their body naturally burns fat on its own, which is why some people can eat thousands of calories and not gain a pound.

Just because you may have a slower metabolism, it doesn’t mean that you can’t change it. Better nutrition choices, more water, and consistent exercise is a great way to improve metabolic function to help your body burn fat more efficiently.

If you have the money to invest in your health, you can call your doctor about getting your metabolism tested. Active metabolic assessments will show you how your body burns fuel – whether it burns carbs or fats during your workouts at different heart rate zones

Resting metabolic assessments are great for knowing how your body burns fuel outside of your time spent working out. If you don’t wish to invest in an assessment, there are free calculations such as the bronze method that can be done at no cost online for an educated guess.

Knowing where to start is a crucial part of improving your metabolism and preventing metabolic syndrome because everyone has a different heartrate zone to begin with. After about two to three months of changing to healthier eating habits, staying hydrated, and conditioning, your metabolism – through easy to moderate intensity cardio – should start to show improvements in how your body burns fat.

Increasing your metabolism will not only help you slim down faster and prevent a plethora of diseases, but it will give you more energy and an overall more enjoyable and active life.

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The Benefits of Strength Training for Women

The Benefits of Strength Training for Women

There is a quote that’s often tossed around in the fitness industry – “Lifting weights doesn’t make women huge. Eating cupcakes makes women huge.”
While amusing, this quote is true. It’s often thought that strength training also known as weight training is a man’s domain and that women will get muscle-bound and manly if they did weight training. That’s why you often see most women hitting the cardio machines in the gym while the men grunt away at the free weights corner.

The truth of the matter is that strength is not only for men. Weight training has many benefits for women too. It won’t make you big or manly. The woman’s physique and lack of testosterone prevents her from packing on massive muscle mass. It just doesn’t happen without performance enhancing drugs.

Now that we’ve cleared up this misconception, let’s see why you absolutely must start weight training as soon as you can. The benefits are just too good not to.

* Prevents muscle atrophy
Strength training prevents muscle atrophy. Both women and men lose lean muscle once they reach their thirties. Every year they lose some muscle mass. Weight training will prevent this from occurring and may even reverse the process. If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.

* Slows the aging process
Weight training retards the aging process. As mentioned earlier, you’ll lose less muscle, be stronger and healthier. A healthy body is more capable of handling the ravages of time. Women who engage in weight training often tend to look younger than their years.

* Reduces subcutaneous fat
Strength training increases blood flow to the muscles that are being worked. If you have thighs that are fatty or a belly that’s flabby, just place your palm on these areas. You’ll notice that they’re generally colder than other parts of your body that are leaner.

The reason for this is blood circulation. Areas that have excess fat have lower blood circulation. Weight training will recruit the different muscle groups and your body will be forced to draw blood into these areas. Your blood circulation will improve and this indirectly leads to a loss of subcutaneous fat.

What is subcutaneous fat? It’s the fat that’s just under your skin. Women usually have more subcutaneous fat on their buttocks, thighs and hips. Another reason why you should get rid of this fat is because it causes the appearance of cellulite.

No lotion or brushing can get rid of cellulite. Only a clean diet and weight training can help burn off the excess fat and diminish the appearance of cellulite.

* Reduces visceral fat
Visceral fat is a very dangerous type of fat that covers your internal organs. There are a lot of toxins in visceral fat and it’s an easy type of fat to gain. Dieting will not remove visceral fat. You MUST engage in weight training and cardio activity. Over time, your body will burn off the visceral fat and you’ll be less likely to get diseases and become sick.

* Boosts metabolism
It boosts your metabolism so that you burn more calories while at rest. You’ll be less likely to gain weight easily.

* Combats osteoporosis
As women age, they’re more prone to osteoporosis. Strength training will prevent this because it stresses the bones and this will force the body to deposit more bone which in turn fights osteoporosis. Isn’t weight training amazing?

By now you should know just how fantastic this form of training is. Besides the points mentioned above, working with weights will also prevent diabetes, lower your cholesterol, boost your heart health, improve your posture and balance and prevent back pain.

While all this is well and good, the one benefit of strength training that most women will love is that it will transform your body into a picture of health. Your body will become more feminine because of the tone and any curves will look better. You’ll look great naked and when you’re at the beach, you’ll really rock that bikini.

Strength training is the answer you’ve been looking for.

 

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