HOW STRESS EFFECTS FITNESS
Hi All! Welcome to this months' "Move It Or Lose It " fitness post. The new schedule for these fitness related posts is the first Saturday of each month. This week I am going to tell you how excessive stress can effect quality of life. You can exercise all you want and eat perfectly but if you are too stressed it will block your ability to be fit.
For me it is imperative that I keep stress at a low level. My body has never handled high levels of stress. Stress for me localizes in different parts of my body and can make me very ill or cause me to get injured easily. I've had stress cause chronic back pain, tendinitis in my arms, chronic stomach problems among other health issues over my lifetime. Never all at the same time but at certain points in my life where my stress level was too high. Let me give you a recent example.
For a lot of the summer, my stress was too high. I was trying to do more than I could accomplish. Also like many women of my generation, I have people-pleasing tendencies that are unrealistic. For several years, I have had trouble with gallbladder attacks. Doctors have told me they can't find any real issues but whenever I get stressed I will have one. It feels like a squeezing, crushing sort of chest/torso pain. I will get short of breath and have to lie down. It usually only lasts a few seconds or minutes at most. I've also had my heart checked and it is fine too. It's just my body telling me to settle down. A couple of weeks ago I had the worst attack I have ever had. It lasted for at least 15 minutes and then the after effects lasted for a couple of days. I was in bed sick. No fever, just weak and not feeling right with my gallbladder aching. I was also in pain from injuries due to exercise and was not being able to work out.
While lying in bed I made a decision. I was going to change how I do things and make my life less stressful. I immediately figured out what I was doing that was unnecessary and gave it up. I structured my day so that I was living more for the things that bring me joy. I stopped doing things that were unnecessary and started doing things that I found pleasant and relaxing.
Here is how my days go now. I wake up in the morning and my husband brings me my coffee in bed. (He has always done that so not new). As I have my coffee with my husband and dogs snuggled around me I do most of my blog work. I make sure my post is live, and I respond to comments. Then I do my link ups and blog hops and do all my blog promotion. I do about 15 minutes on IG and then I am done. Everything takes about an hour. After that I am pretty much done with it for the day. No more spending the day thinking and worrying about it and taking on things that are unpleasant and tension building.
Next I get up and go for my trail run. After my run I have a protein drink and shower. When I get dressed if I think my outfit is blog worthy I take photos. That only takes about 15 minutes at most. Three times a week I sit down in the afternoon and put together my posts. That usually takes about an hour. I have gotten very streamlined about it all. This is also the part of blogging that brings me joy.
I am a researcher for my husband's consulting firm so anything I need to do for that gets done mid mornings. My afternoons are spent cooking and doing projects around my home. I love to cook and I love to turn recipes into healthy meals. We have been eating so well since I started my new routine.
The biggest changes I've made have been to not let social media run my day. I hit it about 15 minutes in the morning and 15 more in late afternoon. And that is it. It hasn't been difficult to let it go. My evenings are spent eating good meals and time with my husband. Chatting with my kids and grand kids and doing things that make me smile. Life is just too short!
The result has been I feel better than I have in months. I was so over extended that I was unable to even exercise without injuring myself and now I am back to my trail runs and picking up speed with each one. No pain. I am grateful that I was able to make the changes necessary to feel good again.
Point of this story? If you have excessive stress in your life, remove it if at all possible. It shortens the life you have and diminishes the quality of your life.
That's it for this post! Thanks for stopping by!