Connect with us

Health & Fitness

The Stress Alarm – Experience Life



Our biological stress response operates the same whether threats are real or perceived. Here’s how your system reacts.

The stress response can be activated by stressors that are concrete (such as not having enough money to pay your bills) or abstract (persistent perfectionism). But the physiological reaction to both types of trigger is the same. The process looks like this:

  1. You notice a danger, which might be an immediate threat (a car speeding toward you) or a perceived one (your boss gives you a funny look).
  2. This perception triggers your amygdala, the area of your brain associated with self-preservation memories. These memories helped our ancestors avoid threats, such as plants that had once made them sick. Today, it helps us prepare for daily situations that we know to be stressful.
  3. Your amygdala sends an alarm message to your hypothalamus, which passes it along to your pituitary gland, which alerts your adrenal glands that they need to pump out the hormone cortisol.
  4. Cortisol acts to protect your body: It elevates your blood pressure so that if you bleed copiously you won’t go into shock. It mobilizes your immune system to fight infection, and dumps glucose into your bloodstream for an immediate surge of energy, along with insulin from your pancreas to mop up that glucose once the crisis is over.
  5. The threat message signals your medulla (which controls involuntary functions) to send an adrenaline burst. This jump-starts your heart rate, dilates your pupils, and makes you hyperalert. You are now primed to escape, subdue, and survive a mortal threat.

This article was excerpted from “Reset Your Stress Response” which was published in Experience Life magazine.

Aviva Romm, MD
, is an award-winning functional-medicine physician and herbalist with practices in West Stockbridge, Mass., and New York City. Her next book, The Adrenal Thyroid Revolution.

Source link

Continue Reading

Health & Fitness

How to Pack a Gym Bag



Forgetting your socks or weightlifting gloves can derail your workout, especially if you’re new to exercise or entrenched in a rigid program. To stay the course, having the right supplies is key to your success. To help you prepare, we asked Life Time personal trainers Anna Taylor, NASM, USAW, Alpha, and Bryce Morris, MS, NASM, ISSA, Alpha, for their favorite gym-bag essentials.


  • Stretchy, flexible, sweat-wicking shirt and pants or shorts
  • Socks (two pairs)
  • Undergarments, sports bra, support, or protection
  • Cross-trainers or sport-specific shoes
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Flip-flops for showering
  • Hair binders, deodorant, toiletries
  • Sports watch or heart-rate monitor
  • MP3 player/phone and earbuds or headphones for music

Nice to Haves

  • Swimsuit for the whirlpool or sauna
  • Wet/dry bag for swimsuit or sweaty clothes postworkout
  • Razors: Some clubs offer them in the locker room, but bring a reusable one to cut down on waste
  • Odor-absorbing charcoal sticks to keep your bag smelling fresh
  • Shaker bottle with premeasured protein powder so you can add water and refuel

Coach Anna also suggests:

  • A protein-packed bar to eat before your workout
  • Bear KompleX Hand Grips for pull-ups
  • A weightlifting belt for lifts at 80 percent or more of max

Coach Bryce also suggests:

  • An extra T-shirt
  • A RPM speed rope for double-unders and conditioning
  • A BCAA and L-glutamine supplement to support recovery after your session

Source link

Continue Reading

Top Stories