Stress and Weight Lifting
Copyright Protected 2006
Excerpt from the book Beginning Weight Lifting
One of the biggest detriments to achieving growth from bodybuilding or weight lifting is unmanageable stress. Mainly because it is hard to control if you are continually under stress. Unlike a poor diet or a poor workout program that can for the most part be corrected easily, stress most of the time cannot.
The stress here is the unsolicited kind. Stress from an office environment you work in. Stress from a bad relationship. Stress from dealing with the traffic that sometimes turns into road rage.
Stress can really cause a lot of harm to person’s entire body. And not just mentally. But also physically.
Stress causes the release of the hormone cortisol. This in turn raises your heartbeat and gets the blood flowing. When the stress level diminishes, the cortisol level returns back to normal. If the stress is chronic or of long duration, the cortisol levels never return back to normal. This in return causes reduced levels of energy, increase appetite, weight gain, and anxiety. Eventually this downward spiral will lead to depression.
Stress can also cause insomnia. For the weight lifter this can cause all kinds of havoc to your body. You need the rest to grow from the weight training sessions.
Stress can come from source like emotional or physical trauma. Or daily irritating noise or a ragging bosses.
The trick of relieving stress is learning a stress management technique that works for you. You could use meditation, yoga or even exercise such as weight lifting.
Don’t use alcohol or drugs. These methods can only lead to bigger problems.
Three physical techniques you can use are deep breathing, muscle relaxation, and relaxation response.
Deep breathing: Zone yourself out from distractions and take some deep breaths. Just keep relaxing with each succeeding deep breath.
Muscle Relaxation: a great method if your muscular tense. Find a place you can zone out from distractions. Then tense you muscles even harder. Hold this just for a few seconds. Then slowly relax your body. Hopefully your tension should ease away.
Relaxation Response: I like to use this method when I am at work. During my break time I will find a quiet spot to sit and relax. Closing your eyes do some deep relaxing breathing. You can even add some imagery with it.
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