It’s no secret that exercise can be a fantastic reliever of stress, especially after you’ve had a difficult day. Going for a run or practicing yoga can help ease your mind and reflect on what is causing you stress.
But sometimes our stress can be so overwhelming; it can have more negative effects on our fitness rather than positives. This can make it harder to reach targets as well as adding to the anxiety we already have.
How Stress Affects Your Fitness Goals
Here are some surprising ways in which your stress about work or family could be stopping you from reaching your fitness goals.
1. Slows Down Recovery Times
Recent studies have found that when you’re overly stressed, and you work out, it can take longer for you to recover afterward. This can leave you feeling tired for longer and can also prolong the pain you feel in your muscles after a hard workout.
If your body is stressed and tired, it finds it difficult to repair and rejuvenate itself. Unfortunately, if it doesn’t recover quickly, you can be at risk of injury or lose motivation to exercise altogether.
While dealing with the cause of your stress will help immensely, there are things you can do to speed up your recovery times too.
Firstly you need to make sure you get plenty of sleep after your workout. Stretching, drinking a protein shake and applying a cream to your muscles can also speed up the process.
2. Affects Concentration
If your mind is busy thinking about an upcoming deadline or financial issues, you can’t put your all into your workout. One of the biggest effects that stress can have is a loss of concentration and focus.
This can affect your workout in a number of ways. It increases the risk of you getting injured by not checking the equipment or your surrounding property.
Lack of concentration can make it easier to make mistakes and errors in judgment while also reducing your technique. This can ultimately affect your overall performance as well as prolonging reaching your goals.
So tackling your stress needs to be a priority to ensure this is just a temporary glitch.
3. Reduces Testosterone
Healthy levels of testosterone allow you to develop strong muscles while also burning fat from your body. Despite what many people may think, both men and women have testosterone hormones. But men naturally have a higher level.
High levels of stress have been found to significantly lower testosterone levels, which makes it harder to build muscle. This can happen quickly and often without a person knowing. This can lead to frustration and concern over why you are not making as much progress as you would like.
To rebuild your lost testosterone, there are exercises you can do and the foods you can eat. You can also consider taking one of H.F.V’s best testosterone boosters. But more importantly, you need to deal with your stress.
To help you deal with your stress levels, here are 3 simple ways you can try:
- Start and end your workout with a 10-minute meditation session. This will help you relax and think about your workout, your fitness goals and all of your achievements.
- Treat your workout as a journey. Test things out, and keep doing the things that give results and make you feel good about yourself, and about your body.
- Always do what you enjoy. If you’ll love doing something, you’ll never give up on it. There are hundreds of sports and physical activities, try to find the one you love and stick to it.
As you can see in the picture below, 15 to 30 minutes of meditation per day can help you to de-stress your body and your mind too.
To prevent these effects from occurring, you need to find a way of managing your stress more effectively. Otherwise, your health and fitness may deteriorate at an alarming rate. If you’re concerned that you are constantly stressed, make an appointment to see your doctor immediately.