Month: 10 / Week: 4
We can’t control the stresses of life that occur all around us. But, we can control how we cope with those stressors. There are activities we can engage in, both to prevent stress and to reduce stress that comes our way. The first 3 challenges surround activities that can help us prevent and manage stress. In the last challenge, we’ll go over how to deal with stress happening right now.
Let’s start out with our diet. Is there something we could do everyday so that our internal stress can be managed more consistently? Yes, and it all revolves around inflammation.
Inflammation is a normal immune response to harmful substances and situations we may experience– including medical conditions or injury, excess body weight, stress, lack of activity, poor sleep, and even certain foods. It is the body’s protection mechanism.
Not all inflammation is bad. It helps our bodies heal from injury and promote muscle regeneration, especially after intense strength training. But while some inflammation is necessary, too much can hinder your effort to improve your health. Even in the case where we need an inflammatory response, we must allow our bodies to rest so it doesn’t become a chronic issue. This is why doctor’s often prescribe resting after an injury and personal trainers recommend rest days in workout programs (especially with intense activities).
Since inflammation is inevitable, how do you know when there’s too much? Unfortunately, it typically isn’t something you can physically feel. In some cases, particularly for those with autoimmune problems, pain can be a problem. But for many others, there’s no signs or symptoms. Just because you don’t feel anything doesn’t mean it isn’t going on or that it can’t do damage.
Rather than worrying too much about how much inflammation is actually occurring in your body, focus on those things you can do to manage inflammation. These are all things you can control. These include certain healthy habits and incorporating more anti inflammatory foods into your diet.
- Get good quality and quantity of sleep
- Engage in regular physical activity
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Manage your stress
Healthy Food Choices
Eat more antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables Load up with healthy fats (especially those high in omega-3 fatty acids) Flavor your meals with anti-inflammatory herbs and spices Limit your intake of sugar & sweets
Load up with healthy fats (especially those high in omega-3 fatty acids)
Flavor your meals with anti-inflammatory herbs and spices
Limit your intake of sugar & sweetsCHALLENGE: Reduce stress from the inside out. Incorporate these foods into your daily diet.