How Does Stress Affect Your Body?
By Samantha Bednar
Online Health and Fitness Coach
We are not talking about your typical day-to-day stress. Having some stress in your life will always be normal. When the stress is continuous and lasts longer than a day, then it can become troublesome.
- • Weight gain
- Stress increases cortisol. An increase in cortisol can trigger an increase in appetite. I am sure most people have heard of “stress eating”.
- • Poor Sleep
- It can decrease the amount of time you are in a REM sleep cycle, because people with stress tend to wake up more throughout the night.
- • Stiff Muscles
- When stress is present, it can cause us to tense up. This can lead to muscle pain and soreness.
- • Immune system
- Our body is made up of systems. Stress can disturb the balance of these systems, which means it can lower your immune response.
- • Gastrointestinal Issues
- You may feel a pit in the middle of your stomach while feeling stressed, but it also can affect your gut’s bacteria. This can lead to an increase, or a decrease, of bowel movements and bathroom breaks.
Now that you know some of the ways stress negatively impacts your body. What are some things you can do to help manage your stress?
- • EXERCISE
- Moving your body is an amazing way to lower your cortisol levels! A simple walk around the neighborhood will do.
- • MEDITATION
- Taking a moment for yourself, to just sit in silence. Or listening to a meditation app on your phone. Smiling Mind is a free app that makes meditation easy.
- • SLEEP
- Cut out everything that disrupts your sleep (caffeine after noon, blue light, noises, TV, sleeping with your pets). Value and protect the time you’ve allocated for sleeping, your mind and body need it.
About the Author:
Sam has been a health and fitness coach for almost two years. She has a Bachelors of Science in Biology, with an emphasis in Health and Medical Sciences. As well as an Associate’s Degree in Respiratory Therapy. As a Respiratory Therapist, she gets to spend time with patients who have varying lung conditions, helping them exercise and regain lung function. At home, Sam is a wife and mother of two. She absolutely loves helping people get started on their health and fitness journey!