Stress is such an interesting phenomenon. It’s rarely pleasant, and often prevents us from living our lives to our fullest potential. Everyone experiences stress at some point each day to varying degrees, yet it is all too often disregarded as a major factor in our health. It may seem like you are doing all the right things. Eating right, working out, getting enough sleep, but if you are still unable to see results or achieve your fitness goals, stress may be the culprit.
For those who live with chronic diseases, particularly those living with Diabetes, excessive stress can take a larger toll on an individual’s health, especially when it comes to controlling blood-glucose levels. Although glucose management is essential to health of both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetics, the truth is everyone can benefit from keeping our blood sugar in check. But when we experience stress, we tend to gravitate toward behaviors that are counterproductive to balancing our blood sugar levels. Reaching for that candy bar, opening that second diet coke, and even losing sleep are some common behaviors that accompany stress, and not only result in blood sugar spikes, but also sudden drops in our blood sugar levels, which in turn causes sluggishness, fatigue, stress…and thus the cycle starts all over again.
Stress management is key to managing our health, and the exciting news is that it is so simple, and can take as little as a few minutes a day. Not sure where to start? Here are a few ideas to get you going.
People write books on mindfulness alone, but the basic principle is to take yourself out of the stressful situation and try to view the situation from an outsider’s perspective. For example; if you are a diabetic, try to look at your glucose levels with a sense of curiosity. Gather the information, rather than judge the results. Want to lose 10 pounds? When you get on the scale, observe the number, and then make an objective game plan to attain the goal, rather than focusing on past slip-ups or future obstacles that may get in the way.
Grab Lunch with a Friend
Maybe skip McDonalds, and make a salad at home, but connecting with a friend is one of the best ways to manage stress. Emotional support from loved ones, and even offering a shoulder to cry on, so to speak is an effective and fulfilling way to reduce stress. Being around close friends can actually decrease the stress level hormone, cortisol, which has been associated with difficulty losing and maintaining a healthy weight. So the next time you’re feeling stressed, just remember, a healthier you is only a phone call away!
Feeling stressed? Why not add a little Namaste to your day? In a 2011 study, researchers found that chemicals associated with oxidative stress, or an imbalance in the number of damaging free radicals in the body, decreased by an average of 20% in the group practicing yoga. Additionally, when you follow a regular exercise regimen, your body starts responding to insulin, helping to reduce your blood glucose. Elite Sports Clubs has several yoga classes offered each day to accommodate every level of fitness.