Stress has a HUGE impact on your health, well-being, and on your ability to lose weight.

You have  heard of the “Fight or Flight” response.

But what exactly is the “Fight or Flight” response?

Basically it means reacting to threats to your survival with a general discharge of the sympathetic nervous system, priming you for fighting or fleeing.

This discharge creates:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Decreased blood sugar
  • Constriction of the peripheral arteries
  • Dilation of the deep arteries
  • Increased respiration rate
  • Decreased gastro-intestinal activity
  • Increased sweating
  • Dilated pupils

 

Woman in Stress

 

How does this “Fight or Flight” response help me?

The purpose of this response is to prepare you for vigorous muscular activity in response to a perceived threat.  By itself, this response is normal, healthy and adaptive.

It is when the “fight/flight” response occurs too frequently or is greatly prolonged that you begin to experience the negative effects of stress.

This is a great response when accosted by a bear in the woods or a mugger on Main Street at night.  The problem is when our perceptions begin to dictate our responses and our “Fight or Flight” response never shuts off and never recovers.


How does it work?

This creates a constant flow of adrenal stress hormones (Cortisol is released into the bloodstream.)

This Cortisol also releases stored sugar from the liver and the muscles into the blood – thereby causing
insulin to turn it into fat.

And since the deeper arteries are dilated – guess where all this fat is headed?  To the BELLY!  Since this is where all of your organs are located – they have a good supply of blood.

This is where BELLY FAT comes from.

Exercise of course is a good antidote to the stress – BUT too much of intense exercise can also increase the stress hormones – too much physical exercise can be perceived as a stress to the body as well.

That’s why it’s important to exercise according to your body’s needs.  Determine your own recovery ability and exercise in a cyclical intensity based on your recovery ability.

Written by: Dr. Ray Goddard

 

 

 

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