During the next week, I want to look at 3 healthy habits that we can foster outside of the gym during the holidays. The first one up is stress management. Fortunately, you are already actively contributing to your own stress relief through your workout routine. Still, even if your food and exercise choices are dialed in to perfection (although really, who has these elements dialed in during December), stress can wreak as much havoc on your body as a plate of heavily frosted sugar cookies.
This season tends to be full of activities that are outside of our established routines. While these activities can be wonderful, they can completely overwhelm and tax us mentally and physically. As you are in this season don't forget to continue to manage your stress 1) by taking it seriously and 2) making sure you have scheduled rest.
Take Stress Seriously as a Health Issue
Stress isn’t just an inconvenience that we need to plow through during this season. Stress disrupts our body's normal cortisol rhythm which can:
· Weaken your immune system
· Raise your blood sugar
· Cause you to crave food, sugar in particular
· Cause hormonal imbalance
· Increase belly fat
I don’t mention this issue to add to your stress but to encourage you to take it seriously. You have proven that you care about your health by stepping up and committing to your CrossFit workouts. Now commit to fighting stress and enjoy a greater measure of health this season.
Think of a recent MetCon or Tabata workout where your planned rest allowed you to work harder and achieve more. During the 8-minute, single-lift workouts that we’ve had during this testing week, giving myself 10-12 seconds of rest between small sets allowed me to put in so many more reps than I thought I could do in 8 minutes, and kept me from becoming overwhelmed by the workout. The same is true in the bigger scope of your daily life. Planned rest will allow you to achieve more with a better attitude and less stress.
Sleep is a natural rhythm of rest that we already have in place. We could (and probably will) devote several posts to the importance of sleep, but for this season, be sure to protect your sleep time and value it as a crucial part of your health routine.
Take a minute right now to look at your coming week and figure out when you can plan rest that will allow you to run faster into your holiday fun.
Comment below and let us know what you come up with!