|On with the science!|
Takeaway: regular workouts can make you more resilient under stress at the neurological level.
|Don't worry, you're getting somewhere.|
Next, a study from the University of Southern California showed that when stressed, we're more likely to stick to old habits - both good and bad. People who, in general, had poorer eating or exercise habits tended to continue to eat poorly and be sedentary during stressful times (e.g. people who ate donuts for breakfast ate even more junk food while watching a lot more TV) while people who were healthier upped the healthy habits under stress (e.g. worked out more).
Takeaway: establish healthy habits now, especially during lower stress periods, so when the heat is on you're more likely to go the healthy route.
Finally, our friends across the pond in the UK, France and Finland followed over 7,000 people for 18+ years after they answered a series of questions about what things they believed most severely affected their health; the things people rated included smoking, drinking alcohol, diet, exercise habits, and stress. Those who rated that their health had been affected "a lot" or "extremely" by stress had more than 2 times the risk of having a heart attack or dying from one than those who said stress did not affect their health.
Takeaway: Listen to your gut and pay attention to how you think about stress, including how it may be affecting your health. Not everyone perceives it the same way, but if you think its bad - it probably is.
|Channel your inner Yoda.|