Stress comes from volume. Work, kids, relationships, school, friends etc! These are just some ways your body and mind undergo stress. When you work out you are actually also stressing your body believe it or not! This is a good thing as the body gets a stimulus adaptation from stress. The key is to stress the body just enough when working out without over doing it! Training is just a short term stimulus! Most of the adaptation occurs via regeneration and rest! Without managing and keeping stress levels low your chances for faster recovery decreases, your body may not gain the full benefits of the adaptation that you are hoping to occur, and you could actually begin getting sick, feeling lazy and unmotivated! Also high stress levels equal high Cortisol levels! Cortisol is just a fancy word for a hormone that produces and stores body fat! Obviously this is a bad thing!
Some ways you may be stressing yourself out are listed below as well as ways to improve and work on those stress areas:
Complete you’re to do list then calm back down!
After making the list, mark the things to do, from most important to least! Then don’t stop until the list is completed! Get the “big rocks” out of the way first! This way, if you don’t complete the entire list you can finish up with the small things still left to do the next day! Exercise should be on the list and high in priority! There’s nothing like the feeling of “getting stuff done” and making progress! After you accomplish getting everything done, be sure to calm back down. I like to walk / hike / take warm baths and showers / go for a drive / listen to music / meditate/ take long deep breaths for 10 minutes! All these things help to clear your mind and take the edge off!
Sleep and Sleep Quality
Get 6 to 8 hours a night! No exceptions! Take a bath, foam roll and stretch before bed. Be strict on going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time every morning and night! This takes some discipline! Come home from the bar sooner! Take a rain check on going to hang with a friend past your bed time!
Keep work outs high in intensity and low in duration! However high intensity doesn’t necessarily mean running around like a mad man for 3 hours or doing every single exercise you can in the gym! Keep it to 4 or 5 exercises that are effective and challenging! Then run some sprints / push some sleds / throw some medicine balls and then go home! Think Pull movement like a Row / Push movement like an Over Head Press / Hip dominate Movement like Dead Lifts / a Knee Dominate Movement like a Lunge / and a Core movement like a side plank! Your Body goes catabolic after 45 minutes to an hour of training! When your body goes catabolic it simply starts to eat at your muscle and you will slow you metabolism down as a result!
LOW INTENSITY LONG DURATION EXERCISE– Here is a pure way to develop tendinitis! Tendinitis is a medical term that just simply means overuse in laymen’s terms! So pretty much, stop doing so much of what it is that you are doing that is causing you injury! All of the Long distance runners, Treadmill and Elliptical, Cross fitters, P90x, Insanity, people doing high rep high volume work for time, know what I mean! Aches, Pain and Tendinitis is a pure sign that you are over doing it and you don’t need me to tell you that. Desk workers and long duration car drivers fall into this category as well! Desk workers and long drivers need to get up and move around, stretch anytime possible and get tissue work done (or use a foam roller) almost daily! Your aches and pains (giving you stress) are a result of your short and tight neck flexors / hamstrings / hip flexors and shutting off the use of your glutes and ham strings to name a few!
Failing to put the correct nutrition into your body or at the right times are a big reason you could be stressed! Not only could this hinder results, but in addition, if you eat foods that are giving you a negative hormonal response like anything fried, sugary or salty you will feel bad about yourself and start to become anxious or depressed! Take 10 minutes the night before or in the morning, and prepare all the food you are going to eat the next day! This way you can’t slip up!
If you are at work or school get all of your work done while there and don’t leave until it is complete! Put your phone away, stay off of Facebook, do not talk to the “time killer people” around you! Put your head down and work! If possible go to the park, library or a location you can focus! Do not stop working until you are done your shift or that day of school! Most people procrastinate for a period of time, then take lunch, then talk with friends, then try to finish what they can before they leave and then have that much more work to complete the next day. Obviously, now the work volume that you need to complete the next day adds up! As a result people lose sleep at night thinking about what they have to do tomorrow, or even worse, they take work home with them instead of being punctual around the family! This stuff stresses you out! Whatever happened to waking up early, going hard all day, staying focused and then earning your fun as a result when completed?! Trust me this approach is better for your subconscious anyhow! Also be on time and better yet be early! Being late is a huge stress producer!
Not Doing Everything You Say You’re Going to Do!
Stop talking about it and be about it! We live in a judgmental world, get over it! You are a direct reflection of the way you feel subconsciously on the inside! Get motivated! Write your goals down daily and make them happen! Also be honest, fair, forgiving, and don’t lie! All of these things will help you to feel better about yourself and will decrease your stress levels!
Be an “I Can Person!”
To be up front I hate “I can’t” people! They are bad for anyone they associate with or that have to be around them! “I can’t” people see the worst in opportunities! Surround yourself with positive, hardworking, fun, vibrant, thankful, “I can” people and your life will instantly get better! Stress will decrease drastically!
“Sharpen the Saw”
Go do more! Stop spending your whole life thinking you need to live in a cage because society says you can’t have fun until the weekend! Go have fun on a Monday, Tuesday or any day of the week! Every day should be lived like your last! Put your most important priorities first, get them done, and then go have fun! As mentioned above go for more hikes / go exercise more / read more / do the things you love and are passionate about! Take vacations! If you don’t like to spend a lot of money on vacations then you don’t have to! Also if you want to work for a few hours of each day while on that vacation then do it! However take them! They are a great way to distress! However just make sure you earn your vacation! Take more naps! 20 to 40 minute naps are a great way to regenerate the mind and body! You can only use your blade so long before you need to sharpen it! This is a huge piece to the puzzle!