Impacts of Stress on Metabolism

As the holidays approach, one can feel stress on the rise (with family coming around, more eating, traveling, and remembering loved ones who have passed). This is a time when people should learn how to control their stress.

Exercise is not only effective to look good, but it also works wonders on mitigating the effects of chronic stress.

Stress is something that all individuals experience, in which cortisol (a hormone) is produced to respond acutely to events and circumstances.

Normal Stress Response

An individual is faced with a stressor.
A complex hormonal cascade ensues, and the adrenals secrete cortisol.
Cortisol prepares the body for a fight-or-flight response by flooding it with glucose, supplying an immediate energy source to large muscles.
Cortisol inhibits insulin production in an attempt to prevent glucose from being stored, favoring its immediate use.
Cortisol narrows the arteries while the epinephrine increases heart rate, both of which force blood to pump harder and faster.
The individual addresses and resolves the situation.
Hormone levels return to normal

The problem is that we are ever-stressed, have a fast-paced lifestyle, which causes our bodies to pump out cortisol almost constantly, which can wreak havoc on our health. Cortisol is one of the main perpetrators that leads to specific physiological damage.

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