In the heightened nervous state of adrenal burnout, the body overproduces adrenaline, Cortisol and other stress hormones. Eventually, this causes the adrenal glands, the front line in the stress reaction, to show wear and tear and become depleted. This frequently leads to impairment in the thyroid gland, which can cause a further decline in energy level and mood. This is one of the reasons why so many women have thyroid glands that don’t work well.
The first step is to exercise. Taking personal time for you in of itself is a great stress reducer but when that time involves exercise the benefit is two fold. Simply going from out of shape to fit reduces stress levels by increasing a sense of well being and self confidence.
Feeling confused and overwhelmed is a common stress symptom and through exercise the blood flow to your brain is improved, bringing additional sugars and oxygen and a sense of wellbeing. This increased blood flow also brings the precious endorphin. The post workout endorphins are chemicals secreted by the body after intense exercise and they make you feel great. They are a legal and healthy "high", a gift from Mother Nature.
How to exercise to reduce stress is a common question that is easy to answer. The required amount of exercise time required to decrease your stress level is minimal. If you want to only apply moderate intensity to your exercise regime, then 30 minutes of walking or other exercise 5 times a week works perfectly. For those that like to exercise more intensely (getting your heart rate to 70% or more of your max heart rate), 20-30 minutes 3 times a week will do wonders for you.
When starting your stress reduction exercise program make sure you include all three kinds of fitness.
The first kind of fitness is flexibility. Tying in with your stress reduction theme, if you combine a tai chi or yoga type program, not only will you gain flexibility but you will also reap benefits from the meditative and calmness aspects of these disciplines.
Taking as little as 10 minutes from your day to focus on your breathing and flexibility will help shift your attention from a stressful situation to your body, allowing you to cope more effectively with any situation.
The second kind of fitness is cardiovascular work or aerobics. Doing your cardio will not only burn fat and reduce the health risks associated with the mid-line bulge but also increase your blood flow and vitality.
The third kind of fitness is muscular work or weight lifting. Many women use weight lifting to "work out" their stress and leave their problems in a pool of "glow" on the gym floor.
Lifting weights changes your shape, releases endorphins and increases your confidence in many aspects of life. Weight lifting if kept under an hour has a very positive effect on your hormone levels. It increases the fat burning ones and decreases the catabolic hormones like Cortisol and DHEA. These hormones when released repeatedly over time can cause several problems including depression and cardiovascular disease.
Manage Your Stress