One of our most popular blogs to date has been The Human Stress Response - Homeostasis. Recently we asked our Team Sustain clients what aspects of Sustainable Health are important to them, and how can TSTMethod offer more? One common thread that seems to appear in the feedback is stress management. Stress management is important because no matter what diet you follow, how much you exercise and what supplements you take, if you’re not managing your stress you will struggle to make progress in the gym and be at risk for modern degenerative conditions like heart disease, diabetes, hypothyroidism and autoimmunity
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Stress is becoming more of a concern in our modern lifestyle. Many of us work in a stressful environment and find ourselves vulnerable to sleep disorders, feeling overworked, anxiety, frustration, and even depression, just to name a few. Can we change our perception of stress and turn a negative emotion into a more positive experience?
For many, de-stressing means coming home, switching on the TV, putting your feet up and “zoning out” with what many believe is a mental distraction. While this may seem like a good ideal or a relaxing way to end your day is it an effective way of reducing the damaging effects of stress? The short answer is no.
The science of breathing stands on quite ancient foundations. Centuries of wisdom instructs us to pay closer attention to our breathing, the most basic of things we do each day. The first functional movement you perform when you come out of your mother's womb… breath. And yet, maybe because breathing is so basic, it’s also easy to ignore. A growing number of studies have revealed that diaphragmatic breathing may trigger body relaxation responses and benefit both physical and mental health.
Breathing exercises, or the focus on slow regular and sometimes deep breathing, are helpful to manage stress and improve health. In this blog, we are going to talk about the 4-7-8 breathing method (also known as the Relaxing Breath) and why it is a great way to end a training session. The principles of 4-7-8 breathing come from ancient yogic breathing techniques known as Pranayama. Yoga breathing has been scientifically shown decrease stress, lower heart rate and blood pressure , improve immunity, and help us sleep.
We continually placing our bodies under high levels of stress (sympathetic nervous system) - just about everything we do in our daily lives has an impact on our energy equation and our metabolism. Just sitting at your desk and thinking can use over 700calories, the brain requires a lot of energy to think. Physical activity is a hugely energy intensive stressors as the muscles, and the brain is needed to coordinate movement and meet the demands of the training session/competition.
When we eat poorly (cut calories, don’t eat enough quality nutrient-dense foods), we affect our metabolism and force our body to tap into other energy stores (lean muscle mass breakdown, fat metabolism, down-regulation of certain hormones (like you reproductive hormones)) to maintain energy balance in the body. Poor quality sleep also impacts our brain function and performance.
If your training goal is to destroy your hormones, bring on adrenal fatigue, and wreck your body with high volume, high-speed low-quality movements, you should find your closest "so-called HIT class" and eat a low-calorie diet. If your goals are to build strength, increase mobility, prevent injury, improve hormone balance, build lean muscle, shift some body fat, increase energy levels, and improve your quality of life, you should start training and eating smarter than the average cortisol monkey.
Many of the people who come to me for a consultation or physical assessment lament being stuck in a plateau in their training. They use the the gerund "plateauing" as an action, when it is in reality a lack of action: it's going nowhere.
There are usually three causes to the lack of progress: a monotonous or unsuitable programme, undertraining and overtraining. Our role as coaches is not only to ensure programmes change often enough to continually generate adaptation, but especially to understand the individual we're coaching and manipulate frequency of training to obtain optimal results.