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How Does Stress Impact Training & Results?

Stress is something the majority of people face at some points in their lives and it affects everyone differently!

But how does stress impact your training?....

Stress is categorised into two - EUSTRESS and DISTRESS. Eustress is good stress, its psychological, physical (exercise) or biochemical (hormesis). We place stress on our muscles through overloading to help them grow, so let's not hate on stress over here!

Distress however isn't as great, and is the stress you face from a bad day or a state of overwhelming.

Too much distress can hinder your recovery - the mental demands of distress steal valuable resources and energy from the body, which may leave you feeling a bit more battered than usual. When you are super stressed and tired and try to hit a heavy workout, you will leave your central nervous system pretty knackered. You are at a greater risk of injuring yourself too. So, while working out is a fab stress relief, don’t push yourself beyond capabilities. In addition to this, distress increases muscular tension which may also increase risk of injury, as well as pain and DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).

Stress can also distract your mind and overwhelm your body, through impacting form as other things are on your mind.

Chronic distress can also affect your ability to regulate the stress hormone cortisol, which impacts metabolism, immunity, blood pressure and sleep. Unregulated cortisol will leave you feeling tired and higher sugary food cravings! As your sleep is impacted, cortisol levels are further unregulated and recovery is impacted.

However, this doesn't mean you should skip your workouts when going through a period of high distress! Workouts are an effective way to boost endorphin levels. You can try to regulate stress through mindfulness practices - and remembering that stress is only as big as you allow it to become.

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