As I’ve already mentioned, there are some forms of stress which are good for us and physical stress can be one of those. We all know of the benefits of physical exercise which of course in moderation can negate the physical stress that results from being under active.
The other kind of physical stress can result from doing too much exercise. Have you ever heard of someone being a gym junkie or an adrenalin junkie or of such a thing as a runner’s high? These terms all relate to feelings of euphoria that come from endorphins being released into the system when people participate in extreme sports such as bungy jumping or sky-diving or when they do physical exercise. But as with many other activities that involve endorphin release, as time goes on gradually longer periods of the activity at a higher intensity are required in order to experience the same result. In short, physical stress can manifest from participating in either too much as opposed to too little exercise.
How do I minimise the effect of physical stress?
If you are thinking that you may not be active enough, I believe the minimum amount of exercise thats recommended to maintain physical fitness is 3 x 30 minute sessions a week. The most basic and cheapest way you can exercise is by simply walking. If you are unable to fit in 30 minutes in one go, 2 lots of 15 minutes or even 3 of 10 at different times of the day is fine. Planning your exercise routine for the morning has obvious benefits including energising you for the day and getting it done and out of the way.
If you are unsure if you might be placing your body under too much physical stress, a good way to gauge this is by thinking about how you respond emotionally to your exercise routine. Do you feel agitated if you aren’t able to exercise or if you miss more than a day or two in a row? Do others ever comment that your exercising is excessive? Do you ever lie about exercising to those close to you? Does it interfere with other important aspects of your life, such as caring for children or your work?
If you answered yes to any of the above in this last paragraph then you might want to consider implementing some strategies to reduce your exercise for a while so that you place your body under less physical stress because side effects of this form of stress include illness, in the worst of cases chronic injury, adrenal fatigue and chronic fatigue.
Tomorrow we will look at what is probably known as the most common source of stress being mental of psychic stress.