Worried about Xmas kilos finding hitting your hips? Christmas three course dinner? We’re holding you responsible. Before you throw yourself into exercise and hit the gym every day, it’s important to remember there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Yes, really! Exercise cranks up your body’s level of cortisol, the hormone the body produces for fuel when under stress. If it isn’t all burned off, the excess cortisol can contribute to a hormonal imbalance, which can lead to weight gain, depression, and high blood pressure.
Instead, try the following tips to help shape up while keeping your hormones levels in check.
- Mix up your workouts. For every hardcore workout you do, have two easy days – yoga, walking or just resting.
- Build proper time for relaxation into your life – a warm bath before bed, simple stretches prior to bed, lighting some candles and reading a book before sleeping.
- Keep your workouts short (though still intense!). This will help prevent excessive cortisol production and will also improve your recovery time.
- Keep a gratitude diary. Every night, write down three things you have done well. Focusing on positive events has been clinically proven to reduce stress and elevate mood.
- Get enough sleep. Adequate sleep is crucial to proper brain function – no less so than air, water, and food.
- Eating plenty of healthy fats. particularly fish oils which will help regulate cortisol levels.