Nothing to Stress About

Stress. We all experience it to some extent each day, whether its good or bad. I'm sure the first thing that comes to mind when you hear stress is missing your morning alarm, running late for practice, or having too much on your plate, but it doesn't always have to be bad. Technically, physical activity is stress on the body. We may not interpret the same way we do as missing an alarm, but stress is stress.

In training, our bodies increase temperature, our heart starts beating faster, and we start to sweat ... think about the last wicked stressful situation you were in, did the same things happen? Probably. So although one stress may feel different than the other, in some ways they have similar affects on the body.

Cortisol is a hormone thats released during stressful situations (aka the "stress hormone"). Cortisol is responsible for regulating changes in the body due to stress (metabolic function, blood sugar levels, etc). When we put ourselves in a stressful situation, whether its nerves for a game or a training session, our bodies produce elevated levels of cortisol. Small amounts are what our bodies need to return it to optimal state, but too much and were thrown out of whack - decrease in immune system, weight gain, poor recovery time, etc.

Its important for us to learn how to control our stress so we can keep our bodies functioning in tip-top shape - especially during season!

Here are some of my favourite ways to control stress ...

(1) Rest/ Recovery - I know sometimes I'm apart of team #nodaysoff but REST IS INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT! Enough said.

(2) Yoga - A great recovery tool to help control breathing and increase blood flow (nutrients) to the body.

(3) Balance - Make sure you have a small chunk of time each week to do something for you.

(4) Peppermint Oil - In a stressful situation and need to calm the nerves? Apply pure peppermint oil to the forehead, neck and wrists for an instance calming effect.

For those that know me well, know I'm probably being a little hypocritical in this post but I'm definitely learning more first-hand about how stress can effects us in our daily lives - not just physically, but mentally and emotionally too. Find a way to de-stress that works for you, and enjoy it!