What causes people to be sick? We often get warned about the ganders of smoking, drinking alcohol, eating fast food, lack of exercise and the toxins in our environment, but what isn’t so often addressed is the common denominator effect among all of these culprits – They cause stress.
Stress wreaks havoc on the mind, body and spirit and until only very recently the association between stress and illness has not been clear. With advancements in scientific research and holistic medicine, clinical results are demonstrating how both physical and emotional stress promotes the development of disease.
So what is stress anyways?
There are three main forms of stress: Acute, Chronic & Oxidative
1. Acute Stress is the most common form of stress. It comes from the pressures and demands of everyday life, such as exercise, traffic jams, arguments, deadlines, etc. These can be understood as short term stresses. Symptoms of this type of stress include rapid heartbeat, headaches, anger, anxiety, depression, lack of appetite, stomach, gut and bowel problems, heartburn, acid stomach, flatulence, diarrhoea, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome., back pain, jaw pain, muscular tensions and ligament problems.
2. Chronic Stress is the ongoing stress that remains underlying yet prominent for long periods of time. Chronic stress destroys the body, mind and spirit. Examples such as poverty, dysfunctional families, unhappy relationships, unfulfilling careers or turbulent environments and wars cause a feeling of helplessness, hopelessness and despair. This type of stress often produces similar physical symptoms as acute stress but also additional behavioural symptoms such as: overeating or undereating, alcohol and drug abuse, gambling, shopping addiction, sex addiction, social withdrawal and suicidal tendencies.
3. Oxidative stress is the imbalance between the production of free radicals (harmful badguys in the body) and your body’s ability to detoxify them with the help of antioxidants. This type of stress happens by eating fried, artificial and processed foods, drinking alcohol, smoking, breathing in toxins, etc.
Each of the three types of stress has a direct physical implication on the body as it affects the nervous system, hormonal system and immune system. There is a complex interplay of cellular free radical damage, cortisol hormone release, brain pattern changes (such as the fight of flight mode being activated) and inflammation in the body that are all affected by the various stresses.
When it comes to sickness and illness, our immune system’s ability to fight off virus and bacteria depends on it’s ability to regulate inflammation. This ability is drastically reduced when the body is under stress. This is why it is crucial to manage stress in healthy ways.
Top 5 ways to manage stress
-Relaxations techniques such as deep breathing, yoga, meditation, tai chi or getting a massage
-Regular physical activity
-Laughter, enjoying time with friends and family
-Making time for hobbies such as reading, listening to or making music, writing or arts and crafts.
-Healthy eating and natural supplementation
Taking a multivitamin to help reduce stress
-Getting high quality vitamins and minerals improves the function of enzymes in the body that regulate the brain’s ability to manage mood, hormones and cellular repair.
-A high quality multivitamin is beneficial for stress management as it contains special compounds that optimize every vital function in the body.
-It helps us absorb and assimilate nutrients from the food we consume, as well as adding missing components from our diet.
At home circuit training exercise routine
We’ve paired up with Personal Fitness Coach Becca Switzer and Real Life But Better to bring you easy and efficient fitness routines to help reduce stress, manage mood and optimize wellness. Pair this with your multi and you’ll be feeling like a superstar in no time.