Don’t Let Stress Sabotage Your Fitness Goals
We deal with stress every day, but there’s no way we’re going to let in sabotage our fitness goals! There is good stress and bad stress. Good stress gives us a burst of energy and helps motivate us to accomplish our goals, but the bad stress can do more harm that we even realize. As a mom, wife, professional business woman, athlete and everything in between, I deal with all types of stress and I’ve realized that the most important way to stay on track and conquer my fitness goals is to recognize when stress is affecting me the most and kick it to the curb!
Here’s a few ways stress can sabotage your fitness goals and what you can do to reduce it:
STRESS EFFECTS EATING HABITS
Stress can take your eating habits from one extreme to another. You may over eat and not even realize it OR it could make you completely lose your appetite.
Pay attention to your eating habits and make sure you’re properly fueling yourself each day. To avoid unusual eating habits, I make sure to prepare my meals each day and I even set an alarm that goes off every 3-4 hours to remind me to eat.
STRESS RAISES CORTISOL LEVELS
Cortisol is the “stress hormone” that is released when we are stressed and acts as a relaxation response, but sometimes when we’re too stress, the body doesn’t return to normal and we have prolonged levels of cortisol.
These high levels of cortisol can cause weight gain and water retention. When I feel overwhelmed with stress I use some breathing techniques to help decrease the stress. It might sound silly, but I assure you that it works. Close your eyes, breathe slow deep breathes in and out for 1 minute – I promise it will do wonders in decreasing stress.
STRESS IMPAIRS YOUR COORDINATION
Stress can impair your motor coordination and control because it interferes with the area of your brain responsible for these functions. When we’re stressed we get lost in our thoughts and stop paying attention to what we’re doing – which could lead to injury.
This is one of the most important times to leave stress at the door and focus on yourself and your goals. When I walk into the gym I take a deep breath, ignore all emails and phone calls and just focus on me.
STRESS KILLS MOTIVATION
When you’re stressed, it’s almost like your body goes into shut down mode – and it completely kills our motivation! Working out is an excellent stress-reduction tool, so instead of shutting down and becoming inactive when you are stressed, get moving and focus on your goals – you will thank yourself in the long run!
Remember that exercising is one of the best ways to relieve stress! Each day, set aside 45-90 minutes to exercise and decompress from the day. Focus on yourself and your fitness goals and before you know it, you will reach your goals!
About the Author
Lauren Felton is a mommy to two sweet babies, wife, professional business woman, and a nationally qualified NPC athlete. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in industrial-organizational psychology.
Lauren is passionate about fitness and enjoys educating others on how to successfully balance family, a career and a healthy lifestyle. She has many healthy tips and recipes to share, especially some great ideas to help save time for fitness lovers on the go!