This module aims at helping individuals appreciate the various ways that stress affects their health and fitness. Clients complete a stress assessment which helps identify a persons level of stress. The program then includes education, coaching and in some cases nutritional aid to mitigate stress, cope with it, and enable the body to be less effected by its effects.
The body is not made to tolerate chronic (constant) stress. It is made to tolerate and benefits from acute (brief) stress. The body does not distinguish between mental stress and physical stress. They both add to the same total. Constant stress makes the “cup run over”.
What are some of the consequences of stress
Stress impacts digestion, adrenal function, metabolism, and the ability to be metabolically flexible and maintain good body composition.
The body functions in one of two “nervous system” modes. The vagus nerve is the signal path between the body and the rest of the nervous system.
For example, when under stress the body activates the “sympathetic nervous system” which is the “fight or flight” mode. This prompts the body to activate adrenal hormones necessary to be alert and produce glucose for energy. Constant stress can impact the adrenal function production of hormones leaving a person stressed, but mentally fatigued or tired.
Stress also inhibits functions like digestion. This results in not producing stomach acid, not producing digestive enzymes and no peristalsis. All of these things can result in lack of absorption of nutrition. For example, lack of stomach acid can result in low magnesium and vitamin B12. Both of these are key for cellular metabolism and can affect weight loss.
The acid of the stomach is the first line of defense against bacteria and pathogens from entering the body.
Below is a further illustration of the effects of stress. Dysbiosis is an imbalance of “good” and “bad” bacteria. This can result in inflammation and other disorders such as IBS. Disruption of the microbiome can result in low production of neurotransmitters which the brain relies on to function. These affect mood, anxiety, sleep and more.