Shape Up: Stress simply isn't worth it

Constant stress can have a damaging effect on health.

Constant stress can have a damaging effect on health.

BY far, the two most common reasons that people cancel their exercise session is because they are “too busy” or “sick”. 

In my opinion, one fuels the other. 

Being busy seems to be a way of life these days – there is no rest as we attempt to juggle an impossibly long list of to do's. 

Twnty-four hours in a day remains insufficient to complete the tasks that we set upon ourselves. 

I know all too well what it’s like. As I sit here to write this on one laptop, I’m reaching across to my second to load my accounting software in an attempt to juggle two tasks in the one small frame of time before I head out the door to training sessions. 

Oh, and just on that, my children who are enjoying school holidays have just popped a head through my office door for the 20th time this hour to ask a question

(you might know the phrase, "Muuuum, [insert question here]"... and now my phone is ringing! I can feel the stress levels rising. 

That’s me, the working mum juggling a career as a writer, business owner and personal trainer. 

I’m sure you have a similar story, perhaps different tasks and responsibilities, but essentially your body is dealing with the same. 

Speaking of your body, how do you think it deals with this constant state of pressure, day in, and day out? Firstly, it reacts by sending signals to your adrenal glands to release adrenaline and cortisol, both hormones related to stress.

Adrenaline increases your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure and boosts energy supplies. 

Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, increases sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream.They are both designed to help you get through a temporary stressful situation. 

But what happens when you lead a constantly stressful life? 

The adrenal glands are all systems go, all of the time. 

And this can lead to adrenal fatigue, ultimately putting you at increased risk of anxiety, depression, digestive problems, heart disease, weight gain and sleep disorders. 

So, is it all worth it? The short answer is no. 

Your health really is the most important aspect of your life because if you don’t have your health, all the other things become insignificant. 

And if you continue to stretch yourself to the limit with a lifestyle of busy schedules, then my bet is that you’ll end up sick. 

And if you’re sick, what happens? You miss your exercise sessions! And as such, we have come full circle (wink).

Speaking of busy, there are six incredibly busy men I have come to know through sweat and fatigued muscles over the past four weeks, and that is the Bendigo Community Health Services 12-week challengers. 

The Addy’s own Rod Case, the City of Greater Bendigo’s Craig Niemann and ABC Radio’s Jonathan Ridnell, along with Steve, Russel and Jerry, have been committed to improving their health for almost four weeks now. 

And in the first three weeks, the men lost a collective 28.5 kilograms of weight! Amazing job. 

Thanks to Bendigo Community Health Services and their commitment to men’s health, we have been able to take this journey together and showcase how simple lifestyle changes can make a huge impact on your health and wellbeing. 

I’m looking forward to sharing the men's complete journey with you all during Men’s Health week in September – stay tuned for the big reveal!

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