By Peter San Nicolas
From week to week I encounter hundreds of people on their journey of fitness. Many of them are just starting on their path to better health and a vibrant living. The majority are people who are fighting day by day to reach their goals. Yet there are still others who are deciding to quit their journey and throw in the towel.
It’s an ugly part of the fitness business. People sign up and are fired up and ready to go and then there are those who come in and wanting to cancel their membership to the club. Some reasons include moving, finances, no time, etc.
A gentlemen came in today and explains to me he needs to quit his membership because he is getting divorced. Let’s call this person Dan. After pondering a heartfelt response, I said, “Dan, this is the time to kick up your fitness program, not throw in the towel. You’re probably going through a ton of stress and this is your opportunity to do something positive through this tough time.”
After a little prodding and convincing, Dan ran home to change his clothes and rush back to the club to jump in one of our “Game Changing” FIT Group training sessions.
We all go through stress, from divorce, death and disease. There are countless stressors in our lives. So whatcha gonna do? Are you going to throw in the towel, quit the team, go home and eat bonbons and drink yourself to oblivion?
No. Let’s turn STRESS into STRENGTH! The following are some scientific as well as practical reasons to exercise when you are stressed:
- ”Stress can produce chemicals in the body causing tension, anxiety, irritability and can even cause physical illness,” says Maj. Robert Chapell, of the Marines Semper Fit operations officer. “Engaging in physical activity can counteract these chemicals and help manage them. Taking part in regular physical activity releases endorphins that improve mood and increase self-confidence.”
- From “The Invisible Gorilla“ — “Aerobic exercise more effectively improves the health of your heart and increases blood flow to your brain … You don’t need to compete in triathlons; just walking a reasonable clip for 30 minutes or more a few times a week leads to better executive functioning and a healthier brain … Exercise improves cognition broadly by increasing the fitness of your brain itself.”
- Let’s face it. When you look better, you feel better. Exercise and proper nutrition will most definitely help you achieve a better body. Think of it this way: Have you ever gone to a party in shorts and T-shirt and come to find everyone else was in a suit or dress? You probably felt out of place. By getting in better shape, you are going to feel better about yourself and in turn have one less thing to stress about.
Cortisol, a hormone in the body, is normally a good chemical response when we are stressed in that it helps us return to homeostasis or equilibrium, but prolonged exposure to stress produces too much cortisol and we experience psychological changes in mood and even appetite. It can effect your immune system and even decrease bone formation.
My urge to you is to get moving when you encounter troubles and trials and remember to turn STRESS into STRENGTH!
Ramona Fitness Center at 558 Main St., may be contacted at 760-789-3500 or www.ramonafitness.com.