Taking care of your body during times of stress is not only important but essential for your long term health.
Since stress affects all of us differently and we all perceive stress differently we have to find individual ways to manage it.
What does that look like?
Let's look at an example of physical stress:
You and I are going to do the same workout today but we are both at different stages of our fitness journey. You have been working out consistently for five years and I just started coming to the gym three times a week for the last six months.
The workout is asking us to complete three rounds of heavy squats, three rounds of bike sprints, and five rounds of burpees as fast as possible.
Whose body is going to find this workout less stressful and will likely recover faster from it?
You have been conditioned over the last five years to build strength, learn how to pace, and understand the intention of the workout.
Me, on the other hand, will likely be sore and tired for a few days after because of my lack of experience and training.
The physical stress of the same workout affected both of us differently because one of us was conditioned for it and the other was not.
We all cope with and recover from stress differently.
Our daily stress works the same way. We all perceive stress or deal with stress differently depending on our experience, coping mechanisms, and recovery practices.
This is why here at OPEX we put a big emphasis on healthy eating and lifestyle practices so you can recover from not only your workouts but your daily stressors.
Our members work with their coach to build healthy habits over time that directly and indirectly help them manage stressful situations and daily stressors like working out.
Here are the top five nutrition and lifestyle habits we work on with our clients give them healthy ways to cope with stress both physical and mental:
Add healthy fats to every meal. Add olive oil, nuts, seeds, fish, avocado to your meals each week to keep your fuller for longer and to give you more energy.
We suggest these easy ways to add fats:
Eat lean meat with sliced avocado
Sprinkle nuts and seeds on your salad
Eat salmon or tuna twice a week
Swap canola oil or extra virgin olive oil
For more on healthy fats check out our free download here.
Cut sodium. Avoid eating prepackaged foods like bread, pizza, and deli meats too often.
Focus on these easy ways to cut sodium:
purchase products that say 'low sodium'
ask for sauces and dressing on the side as restaurants
instead of adding salt for flavor add fresh lemon juice, herbs, or not salt spices
Increase your fiber intake.
Slice up some fresh veggies and put them in ZipLock bags of easy grab-and-go snacks
Try a high fiber breakfast like a bowl of oatmeal with pecans
Steam your veggies instead of boiling them
Aim for a variety of colors on your plate at every meal.
Add dark leafy greens to your supper plate
Eat oranges for a snack
Add tomatoes to your favorite salad
Add diced peppers, broccoli, and onion to your favorite omelet
For more on healthy eating check out our free download Foods that Make You Healthier.
Get a good night's sleep. Good sleep habits can help you get a better night's sleep and help you recover from physical and mental stress. Try these nightly habits to improve your quality of sleep:
Be consistent. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Even on the weekends.
Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and cool when you go to bed.
Remove electronics 45 minutes before going to bed. That means your phone, tv, iPad, etc.
Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bed.
Exercise! Being physically active during the day can help you fall asleep faster and get a deeper sleep.
OPEX Fitness Regina