Stress Is More Dangerous Than You Think
There's no doubt that chronic stress can be exhausting physically-- but we forget how much of it takes a toll on our mental health. Stress wears us down emotionally and can lead to depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
Physical Health: Muscular, Digestive, Cardiac
When we are stressed, our muscles tighten and tense up. Consistent stress on our bodies can contribute to migraines, muscle tension and body aches.
- Migraines - Muscle Tension - Body Aches & Pains
Chronic stress can keep your body from absorbing the nutrients needed from the food you eat. It also has an effect on how quickly food passes through our digestive system and can cause irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and chronic constipation. In addition, high cortisol levels can cause overeating and make your body cling to body fat, causing unwanted weight gain.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) - Chronic Constipation - Malnourishment - Obesity
Chronic stress causes plaque buildup that clogs your arteries thus raising your blood pressure as well as your chances for a heart attack or stroke. It also weakens your immune system and leaves you defenseless to infections.
- Raises Blood Pressure - Risk of Heart Attack or Stroke - Weakens Immune System
Is there a difference between genders?
Women who work over 40 hours a week tend to have higher health risks than men. Women are also three times as likely to get cancer, diabetes, and heart disease if working 60-plus hours a week.
Constant stress clearly takes a toll on your mental and physical health. Long hours of work and a tight schedule will lead to burnout-- making you feel constantly tired, overwhelmed, and feeling underappreciated.
Move More, Sit Less
So how can we fight stress and keep our bodies healthy?
The answer is simple: exercise. Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress and prevent disease. If you work a job where you are sitting most of the day make suer to take time for muscular activity. Make active changes to your everyday routine, even if it's something as simple as taking the stairs, gardening or taking your dog for a walk. No matter what type of movement you choose, your body will thank you.
The federal physical-activity guidelines were updated this past year, urging adults to participate in 75-150 minutes of aerobic activity and two muscle strengthening sessions each week.
There are endless exercise options to choose from, here's a few of our favorites:
- Jogging - Yoga - Weight Lifting - Dancing - Hiking - Cycling
Take a Break
Keep a balance between work and life.
Everyone needs a break from their everyday work routine to readjust and relax. Whether it means taking time for lunch during the day or taking a walk outside to get some fresh air, little breaks can make a big difference for your everyday health. Take a long weekend or a few weeks away from the office if you can. This is essential for boosting your well-being, letting yourself relax with a massage or taking the time to enjoy physical activity outside.
Let's make an effort to put our health first, our quality of life and lifespan depend on it.