Part 2 – Part 1
Aggressiveness and competitiveness is not only a government trait, it is also a personal one. It is reflected in our careers, our relationships, our games, even the way we drive. We seem to be in a constant war with the world. What is happening here?
What is happening is that people were born to fight and when they are not permitted to fight others, they end up fighting themselves. Fighting ourselves promotes tremendous stress that leads to serious consequences such as heart disease, diabetes, hormone imbalance that results in weight gain, and anxiety among others.
What we need to do is to find ways to get rid of our aggressiveness that are healthy, and the more physical they are these ways, the better. Unfortunately, nowadays, our jobs involve less and less physical activity and much of the stress we all suffer is due to our own pent-up aggressive instincts that we don’t seem to be able to get rid of because we are not sufficiently active physically.
When we express those instincts in physical activities, we are better off. We reduce le level of physical and mental illness and our weight is in a much better shape. Actually, statistics show that 2/3 of the visits people pay to doctors are related to stress.
How can you beat stress and maintain a healthy weight?
In the last several decades, numerous studies have confirmed that physical activity has a positive effect on longevity and mortality and that a lack of physical activity is associated with an increased risk of disease and disability. Regular physical activity helps maintain adequate levels of cortisol. Adequate levels of cortisol prevent both a constant feeling of anxiety and an ever-expanding waistline.
Here are some physical activities that will help you reduce both your level of cortisol and your belly fat:
Dance – Dancing is considered to be one of the top physical activities when it comes to aerobic exercises; it benefits the cardiovascular system by strengthening the muscles and muscular strength provides protection from insulin resistance. In fact, doctors recommend thirty minutes of dance, three times per week no matter what your age is.You may want to know that ballroom dance is an activity that uses the larger muscle groups. How about checking your local college or adult schools for ballroom dance classes?
Walk – If you have been reading my articles, you probably are familiar by now with the benefits of walking. After you have been walking briskly for a few minutes, it is difficult to feel stressed or angry at anybody. In fact, any time you feel like fighting your boss, go for a walk. When you come back from your outing, you will be in a more relaxed mood to express your feelings and take care of the problem. Remember that getting fired will only add more stress to your adrenal glands.
How about meditation?
Meditation – Although meditation cannot be considered a physical activity, it can be of great help to relax your mind. Listen to relaxing music with your eyes closed; picture yourself in an idyllic place; or you may want to recite a prayer.
Visualize – Close your eyes and take yourself on a trip to the most peaceful place you have ever been or read about. When you “come back” from your trip, you will probably be refreshed from your brief mental vacation.
Have a good night sleep
Substantial medical evidence suggests that there is a strong link between sleep and weight. Researchers say that how much you sleep and possibly the quality of sleep has an effect on your hormonal activity.
According to Dr. Michael Breus, a faculty member of the Atlanta School of Sleep Medicine and director of the Sleep Disorders Centers of Southeastern Lung Care in Atlanta, a lack of sleep drives leptin levels down, which means you don’t feel as satisfied after you eat. It also causes ghrelin levels to rise, which means your appetite is stimulated, so you want more food. Make sure you go early to bed to allow yourself eight hours of sleep.
In a study conducted by the Stanford and the University of Wisconsin, about 1,000 volunteers reported the number of hours they slept each night. Doctors then measured the participants weigh as well as their levels of ghrelin and leptin.
The result showed that those who slept less than eight hours a night not only had lower levels of leptin and higher levels of ghrelin, but they also had a higher level of body fat. In other words, those who slept the fewest hours per night weighed the most. Leptin is a hormone that acts on the receptors in the hypothalamus of the brain where it inhibits appetite. Ghrelin is a hormone that increases appetite.
Do not allow stress to upset your hormone balance
You don’t have to allow stress to sabotage your weight loss by upsetting your hormonal balance. While it is basically impossible for most of us to take a week off every month to get away and cool off, as we have seen, there are things you can do to manage daily stress.
Find a way to move. I may sound like a broken record, but physical activity can take care of your weight in many ways, not just by using calories, which by the way, it also helps in weight loss.