If you’re pushing too hard and not taking enough time for recovery, there’s a risk that your body will be under stress for longer periods of time — especially if you have emotional stress and you work out hard at the same time. Chronic stress will not only havoc your health, but also your workout goals.
Don’t overdo it
Most of the time exercising is only beneficial, and it is one of the most important factors in managing one’s stress. However, a very intense workout releases the stress hormone cortisol, which needs to lower down to its normal level after the exercise. When you don’t give your body enough time to recover from a hard workout, and you suffer from stress, your cortisol levels can stay elevated for too long.
Chronic stress is known to affect our health in numerous different ways, and adding the physical stress of a hard workout to the equation can turn the benefits of the exercise upside down.
If you feel stressed and tired and your workouts are suffering, it’s important to make a reality check and start focusing on recovery more than the weights.
Checking the situation regularly
There’s no reason to panic about the topic, but it’s good to be aware of the fact that being a superhuman at the gym can backfire if you’re not aware of your stress. Sometimes our mind is so strongly focused on the goals that we might ignore our body’s signals to take a break from training. That’s why the options that technology offers can be great tools to help us stay on the right track.
You can, for instance, measure your heartbeat and check that it slows down normally after your workout, or you can try other stress measuring methods to make sure that you’re not stressing your body too much.
The level of cortisol can be measured from saliva, and checking it at certain times of the day can give vital information on your stress levels and hormonal balance. For now, the salivary cortisol tests have been only possible at the laboratories, but the in-home stress solution that works together with your smartphone will be launched shortly. That will make health tracking for athletes and sports enthusiasts a lot easier.