3 Stressors That May Be Holding You Back From Your Fitness Goals

Stress. That word alone may be enough to stress you out. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, stress is the brain’s response to any demand. These demands can have a negative impact or a positive impact on your life, short-term or long-term. Although not all stress is negative, chronically experiencing stressful situations can lead to a lowered immunity, digestive complications, reproduction issues and can even harm you physically.

When it comes to exercise, a lot of people use their workouts as a chance to relieve some stress. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy for everyone. People cope with stressors in their lives in many different ways. Sometimes, stress actually leads people to become lethargic and unmotivated. Since that directly affects your health, it causes concern for me! I want you all to enjoy long, healthy lives.

Below are the top 3 stressors can could be stopping you from meeting your fitness goals!

Staying up past your bed time

Sleep deprivation is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to added stress. The human body needs some “me time” for it to recharge and without that time the body will not function to its furthest potential. We’re all guilty of staying up too late from time to time, but making a habit of it can literally turn you into a Debbie Downer.

Seriously. Have you ever heard of RNT? That’s Repetitive Negative Thinking, a perseverative and abstract focus on negative aspects of one’s experience and life.

According to this study (1), “Individuals who endorsed a preference for later sleep and activity times also reported more RNT. These findings suggest that RNT may be uniquely related to both sleep duration and timing.”

If you begin to develop a negative outlook on life, your healthy (among other things) will suffer. Rest and recovery is just as important as what you do in the gym, so make sure you’re getting at least 8 hours of sleep every night so you can wake up and seize the day, every day!

Telling lies

My mom used to tell me, “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” The internet will tell you that is a Mark Twain quote but I’m pretty sure Nancy Ochoa originated that.

It’s so true though. I’m not going to act like I’ve never lied,  I can honestly say that lying is so much hard work. It’s exhausting. I’d much rather tell the truth, especially after reading a recent study on the potential effects of valuing honesty.

“Recent evidence indicates that Americans average about 11 lies per week. We wanted to find out if living more honestly can actually cause better health,” said Anita E. Kelly, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of Notre Dame.

Professor Kelly conducted a fascinating study that indicated telling less lies is linked to improved health and improved relationships as well (2).

So re-think it the next time you feel like telling one of those little white lies that you think doesn’t really matter. Tell the truth and it could help you out in the long run. You need to be thinking about crushing your next workout, not stressing out about what you’re going to tell your spouse when they ask about the random $200 charge at the Keystone Fashion Mall.

Too much caffeine

I bet 8/10 people who read this would say that they NEED some sort of caffeine to get through the day. Whether it’s coffee, tea, energy drinks, soda, pills or workout supplements, Americans are getting their caffeine fix – and then some.

Did you know coffee is the most widely consumed beverage in the United States besides water? Coffee just so happens to be the main source of caffeine in American adults.

Coffee isn’t the one to point the finger at, caffeine in all varieties is the real bad guy here.

Caffeine is a stimulant, which is why people feel so addicted and dependent on it and the products that contain it. In moderation, caffeine can actually be helpful to your health but a lot of times there is no moderation when it comes to consumption.

Habitually overdosing on caffeine can lead to chronically elevated adrenaline, cortisol, anxiety and blood pressure (3). It can be taxing on your glands and organs to constantly be in a caffeinated state and lead to severe exhaustion. That’s right, too much caffeine can eventually cause insomnia. If that doesn’t alarm you, please re-read the first section above about getting more rest!

Anything under 300 milligrams of caffeine a day is considered to be healthy and safe, but continuously exceeding that amount can lead to some pretty nasty repercussions.

If you consume caffeine for the energy, consider more wholesome and natural remedies. Maybe lemon water or a shot of Apple Cider Vinegar in the morning. Eat to have energy, then supplement if absolutely necessary.

If you consume caffeine for the taste, like coffee connoisseurs, try to limit your intake or consider a decaf cup here and there. Drinking soda daily for the caffeine? Don’t even get me started.

You don’t want to suffer from adrenal fatigue, no cup of joe is worth that suffering! Save your energy for your next trip to 1 & Only Fitness!

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SOURCES

(1) Nota, Jacob, and Meredith Coles. “Duration and Timing of Sleep Are Associated with Repetitive Negative T.” Springer Link. Journal of Cognitive Therapy and Research, 1 Dec. 2014. Web. 3 Mar. 2015. <http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10608-014-9651-7>.

(2) “Lying Less Linked to Better Health, New Research Finds.” The American Psychological Association. The American Psychological Association, 4 Aug. 2012. Web. 3 Mar. 2015. <http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2012/08/lying-less.aspx>.

(3) “Effects of Habitual Coffee Consumption on Cardiometabolic Disease, Cardiovascular Health, and All-cause Mortality.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 13 July 2013. Web. 3 Mar. 2015. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23871889>.