Stress, and How It Really Impacts Your Workout

woman exhausted on edge of boxing ringIf you feel stressed in your life, you might think that doing a bit more weight training is exactly what the doctor ordered. But it’s important to remember that whatever your age, stress has a significant impact on your abilities to work out. While exercise can be a stress reliever, too much stress can sabotage your workout. Here are some signs, but also what you can do about them.

It Distracts You

Everybody has experienced a major distraction in their lives as a result of the pandemic. But when we are trying to cope with a big life event, stress has the ability to distract us and overwhelm our body, meaning that we are less likely to stick to our training machines. As a result, we lose motivation, and we don’t reach our fitness goals. To overcome this, think about stress as being all in the mind. Looking at the 2021 mindset shift data for Australians over 50, more than 2 in 3 have shifted their mindset after the events of 2020, and this is something that we can do to ensure that we are incorporating stress management techniques so we can calm down and remain focused and motivated.

Stress Fatigues You Quicker

Stress impacts the area of your brain that deals with long-term, short-term, and working memory. If you consider stress in these three different areas, you will naturally fatigue quicker, mentally and physically, which will have a great effect on your workout. The most important thing to remember is that stress is not just a physical thing, it can impact your mind. If you are more tired than usual, you must consider the effects of trying to stay up a little bit longer. But you should also look at the workouts you are doing. If you are focused on intense workouts like high-intensity training, you have to remember that exercise is a stressor. In the short-term, swapping it for low intensity, aerobic activities will not fatigue you as quickly, while also giving your body the endorphins it needs.

It Increases Your Risk of Injury

Stress will increase your injury for two different reasons. Firstly, if you’re not focused on your technique, your lack of attention could arise in an injury. Additionally, if you experience stress, you may not notice it, but your muscles will be tenser. If you are feeling stressed in life, this additional tension could exacerbate aches and pains. If you really need to get your heavy-duty workout in, keep it short and sharp. In these instances, you may want to focus on something like super slow, or isometrics, as you need to put a 110% focus on your form in fatiguing the muscle.

While stress can have a detrimental impact on your training, stress can be a motivator just as long as it is a slight stressor. One of the biggest lessons we all need to learn in terms of exercises that we are stressing our body. But it’s got to be a slight stress so our bodies and brains can adapt.

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