Reducing Stress to Help You Reach Your Fitness Goals
Stress can have a big impact on you reaching your fitness goals. There are a number of reasons this is true, but it boils down to the fact that some of the activities that help you reduce stress including proper diet and exercise are often neglected by those who are experiencing stress, resulting in more stress.
None of us can deny that the struggle with stress is very real though. From money to family issues, careers to car repairs, it seems like there’s always a reason to be stressed out. Stress can’t always be controlled, but your reaction can as can the way you handle it. Handled well, a good stress reduction plan can also help you reach your fitness goals.
Eating Right to Reduce Stress
We all know how much nutrition has to do with our physical health. Experts say weight loss is 80% what you eat and only 20% what you do. This means all of that time in the gym is useless without a balanced diet. The same is true for reducing stress.
The same foods that have a negative impact on your physical fitness also have a negative impact on stress and mood. Excess sugar, caffeine, and alcohol all can create physical stress by impacting insulin and hormone levels. Nicotine has the same effects, with temporary “feel good” impacts followed by cravings and added physical stress.
As with any diet, balance in the key as is sustainability. The nutrition plans you follow must be ones that work with your lifestyle in general. Keto and other high protein, low carb diets are often difficult to follow if you still have children at home, travel a lot, or eat out often.
Still, eating right to reduce stress can also be a great way to reach your fitness goals as well.
Keeping a Journal or a Blog
A journal or a blog can serve as a great outlet for stress. You can vent your frustrations, organize your ideas, workouts and meals, set goals, and help yourself stick to a schedule. In the case of a blog, you can also find a community, discover empathy, and find others who will keep you accountable to both activities that reduce stress and contribute to your fitness goals.
Writing down goals is a big step to helping you accomplish them. Finding those who will keep you accountable through a blog or social media increases those chances even more. If you are going to start your own fitness blog, you will need to find and purchase a domain name, get hosting, and design a website or have one designed for you.
However, you can also blog for other people, writing on their sites and building an audience. Even if you prefer less public methods, journaling is very helpful too. You can do so on your computer, on paper, or using apps on your phone. Fitness trackers like Fitbit and Apple Watch make this process even easier.
No matter what method you choose, tracking your food, mood, workouts and expressive writing will help you reduce stress and reach fitness goals.
Yes, diet is important and so is journaling, but one of the best things for achieving your fitness goals is exercise, and vigorous exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress. Those who are stressed often neglect this because they don’t have time or simply don’t feel like it.
Vigorous exercise does not have to be hitting the heavy bag or running five miles, although it can be. A fast walk, some quick pushups, planking, and even some office and chair exercises can be enough to get rid of frustration, wake your mind, and get you ready to work again. Stress can lessen or even disappear in a few short minutes.
Remember, you don’t have to suddenly be a world class athlete to reach your fitness goals. Four thirty-minute sessions of cardio or strength training or a combination of both can increase your metabolism, reduce stress, and help you stay physically fit.
Meditation and Yoga
Sometimes to reduce stress, you simply need to take a few minutes to breathe. Most people struggle with long meditation sessions, but often simply five minutes of guided mediation or imagery can reset your mind for the rest of the day.
Fortunately, there are apps on your phone and even Virtual Reality (VR) apps that can help you isolate yourself almost anywhere and take a few minutes to calm your mind and meditate. These can be simple things like listening to calming sounds and looking at soothing pictures to more advance focusing and meditation methods.
Yoga is also a great way to relax your mind and relieve stress, and you don’t have to be a flexible, this woman to practice it. There are classes for every sex and every ability level, and even classes geared only for men or specifically for beginners. Simple, half an hour classes a few times a week can alter your state of mind for the better.
Yes, professional one on one hypnosis can do wonders for your physical fitness and your mental health as well. It can help you drop old habits and develop new ones. However, it is even better if you can train yourself to hypnotize yourself.
This is a practice that takes time and training to learn, but self-hypnosis can help you sort out a situation, think more clearly, and communicate with your subconscious in a new way. The stress relief that you experience alone will be worth the effort.
Along with those benefits, self-hypnosis will help you reach your fitness goals by allowing you to narrow focus and set your mind on the milestones you need to pursue. The better you get at this practice the greater benefits you will see.
Reducing stress is important for more than one reason, but actively working to do so can really boost your ability to reach your fitness goals at the same time.