As a health professional at the Vail Vitality Center, I think the stress management puzzle can be as simple as 1-2-3:
1. Challenging exercise
2. Clean nutrition
3. Active recovery
This article on stress management is Number 4 in a 5 part series from the professionals at the Vail Vitality Center. We created this series for all clients suffering from stress and struggling with how to manage it in their lives. Stress is a very real concern for almost everyone that’s why we have taken the time to share our knowledge with you. Learn how to manage stress using a variety of modalities. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 5. Written by Angela Muzic.
Edited versions of these articles can be found in the Vail Daily.
Stress is a normal part of life, and our bodies are designed to experience and react to it. Our experiences present themselves as a result of what happens to and around us, and by what we do to our bodies. Biological stressors turn up in the air we breathe, the food we eat, the feelings we feel and, believe it or not, overtraining in the gym or participating in outdoor activities.
Stress can be viewed in a positive light when triggered as a defense mechanism for danger or used to stay alert. The negative effects of stress, or “distress,” manifest in the body when a person continuously faces challenges without periods of rest or relief in between.
Stress leads to physical symptoms including headaches, stomach aches, elevated blood pressure, chest pains and problems sleeping. Research suggests that distress can also bring on or exacerbate symptoms of certain diseases, such as cancers, diabetes, obesity and heart disease, thieving our vitality.
We are not getting away from stress so how do we manage it?
Lifting weights and the popular metabolic circuits that have swept the nation in terms of building lean mass and reducing body weight are great ways to help achieve overall fitness. They are fun, feel good, challenge the individual and generate the results most of us desire. But, they are only one piece of the overall health and wellness puzzle.
We eat all day long, so it’s crucial for your stress levels. Stressing your body with too many sugars, too many of the wrong fats, too much of anything increases stress. If you are suffering from stress and not sure which foods you should be eating one suggestion is to take the metabolic profiling test created by Sigma offered at the Vail Vitality Center.
The brief description: the test tells you at what heart rate you burn fat and carbs. It gives you an idea of how your body operates and from this test and expert analysis you then receive a nutritional plan that’s right for your body. If you struggle with weight and stress and have had no results- come and talk to me about the test. It’s worth a conversation.
Let’s take a closer look at active recovery. Two perfect examples of active recovery that most of us can access easily are yoga and Pilates. Yoga is recognized by most people as a viable stress reduction option. Pilates might be an option you may have overlooked because it’s less familiar.
If you have used Pilates as a strength-training regimen, you may think I’m crazy for suggesting it as an active recovery technique. Pilates can be very intense and highly challenging when practiced frequently.
Pilates is used as a tool for recovering from weight training or outdoor activities and for preventing and recovering from injury. All of which reduce distress and offer a great starting point for those who are less active.
Pilates is a series of movements thoughtfully designed by an instructor to activate the core, mobilize and stretch the joints and muscles, and clear the mind.
Over the past few years, more and more professional athletes, including football, baseball, basketball and soccer stars, skiers, snowboarders, surfers, tennis players, golfers and cyclists, have added Pilates to their workout. They use Pilates not only for physical recovery but mental recovery, too.
NBA point guard Jason Kidd admitted, “After one session, I was energized. From that point on, I was convinced it was a great workout.”
Soccer star David Beckham has said, “I do an hour of Pilates a day… and fitness wise, I am in the best form I have been in a long time.”
As you’ve read in this series, you can manage stress using a variety of activities, nutrition, and healthy habits. Stress management is unique to the individual, but moving your body is crucial.
Stress is part of life, and if we don’t take the time learn how to reduce and remove it, it can lead us down the road of disease – or dis-ease.
Schedule private coaching sessions with Angela 970-476-7960
Stress Management Series
- Part 1: Unexpected or uncontrolled weight gain? Fix it with stress management. By Dr Ben Stone.
- Part 2: Utilizing a personal trainer to handle stress. By Blake Gould
- Part 3: Stress Management and Yoga: How does it really help? By Julia Clarke.
- Part 5: Too stressed to sleep? This can help! by Lisa Dekoster