Exercise Relieves Stress During Holidays

The holidays bring on extra stress so use exercise to relieve your stress. A certain amount of stress and tension helps you take on challenges and perform better. Too much stress (left unchecked) over a prolonged period is not good for you and it causes health problems and affects your metabolism. Also, some people respond to stress better than others. One person might crumble under the same workload that causes another person to thrive.

Your body's normal state (homeostasis) is changed by stress. The hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, are secreted in response to a stressful situation. The "fight or flight" response to stress is intended to give you the energy to take on or run away from a particular situation. Stressful situations that go on for months or years signals to your body that the normal state includes excessive amounts of adrenaline and cortisol.

As it relates to metabolism, adrenaline makes your fat cells more efficient at turning fat into energy and speeds up your metabolism. On the other hand, cortisol increases the amount of glucose in your blood and creates more energy.

During the holiday months, this excess adrenaline and cortisol builds up in your body. Unused excess energy will be stored as fat.

Chronic stress, extra stress brought on by the holidays or stress with no end in sight has major health implications. Adrenaline will continue to be secreted but your body and your fat cells will build up a tolerance to it.

This means that your fat cells won't be converted to energy and cortisol will continue to increase glucose in your blood. This means the fat gain and weight gain begins to happen if left unchecked.

Life continally has stressful situations and life sometimes brings unavoidable stress, like during holidays. Regular exercise helps you to deal with stress and bring your body back to the true normal state (or as close as possible).

Exercise consistently during the holidays and take care of yourself!

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Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
My Fitness Hut


About Mark

Hi, I'm Mark Dilworth, Nutritionist, Dietary Strategies Specialist, Nutrition for Metabolic Health Specialist and Lifestyle Weight Management Specialist. Since 2006, I have helped thousands of clients and readers make lifestyle habit changes which includes body transformation and ideal body weight.