How Does Stress Affect Your Health and Fitness

How Does Stress Affect Your Health and Fitness

From a small traffic jam to a major setback in life, everything is stressful. Stress occurs more often than we realize, and it can actually be put to good use. Instead of letting it affect every part of our lives, we could turn it to a positive source of motivation. For this, let us first understand the ways in which stress keeps you from reaching your health and fitness goals.


1. Craving for unhealthy food

Every time you are stressed, your body releases a hormone called Cortisol. This increases craving for sugar and fat, making you wanting to eat all the unhealthy food in the world. The more sugar you consume, the more the craving increases, trapping you in a vicious cycle.

2. Increase and decrease in food quantities consumed

You tend to feel full consuming only a portion of your regular meal or you crave for more food even after you have had your regular serving. This increase and decrease in your regular food consumption is caused by stress. Change in diet will require change in exercise regimen, which is often ignored while in stress.

3. Increase in fat storage

Stress enlarges the size of fat cells in your body, therefore increasing the amount of fat in your body. We wish most our work gets done on it’s own, but automatic increase of fat cells is something that we don’t ever want to happen. Exercise is the only way to help you combat fat storage. Every human body is different, so you need to find the exercise regimen that works best for you.

4. Disturbed sleep

An undisturbed 6-hour sleep is the most minimal rest every human body needs, in order to function optimally the next day. Stress does not let you fall asleep peacefully at first, keeps you waking up multiple times in between, and, finally makes you linger for sleep. So basically your body doesn’t get the much needed rest it requires. Long-term stress disrupts sleeping pattern causing a disorder. This in turn leads to a host of other diseases.

5. Severe headaches

With imbalanced and improper food, incomplete and undisturbed sleep, you end up getting severe headaches. It may be a minor headache for an hour a day, to, severe shooting headaches. This body reaction is due to ‘fight or flight’ chemical released by your body in stress.

6. Frequent back pain

The same ‘fight or flight’ chemical tenses up your muscles causing back pain. Back bone stands the upper body and when it is tensed up and aching; it becomes difficult to even carry out routine activities.

7. Increased hair loss

Alopecia areata is the science name of the auto-immune condition that causes hair loss due to stress. Stress triggers hair fall. When the body does not have enough nutrition, it shows up in the hair too.

8. Disrupted digestion

Stress may cause heartburn, stomach cramps or diarrhea, or, all of them at the same time. If these conditions already exist, it may even worsen them. So the food that you consume doesn’t end up providing nutrition to your body (as it is supposed to). Instead, it throws away all the nutrients and saps you of all the energy.

9. Blood sugar patients warned

Stress may increase the blood sugar levels for those having type 2 diabetic conditions.

10. Raises blood pressure (BP)

When the mind is stressed, a person strains his body and exerts more pressure than required for mundane activities. Blood vessels are constricted and heart rate is sped up and raises the BP. Frequent increase in BP causes other problems.

11. Increases chances of stroke

Even a healthy person stands the chance of suffering a stroke due to a stressful event. Small things can build up a lot of stress over time, making it a huge affair. Constant strain on the system is harmful.

12. Makes you look older than you actually are

Constantly stressing about something or the other takes a toll on mind. This in turn reflects in the body, making the skin cells age at a greater speed. No age reversal creams will work when you are stressed.

13. Seizure

Sensitive people tend to experience higher stress levels. Even the smallest of things takes a toll on them. This causes seizure-like symptoms, including convulsion.

These 13 are the most common reactions of stress that we are generally ignored until it is unbearable. The actual list of problems that stress causes is endless. Therefore it is important that we handle stress with ease so that it doesn’t affect our health and fitness goals, which in affect all aspects of life.