One of the biggest health buzz words to come from 2017 (apart from turmeric and anti-inflammatory) is ‘intuitive’.
Everything from intuitive living, intuitive fitness and ‘eating intuitively’.
But what does this mean? How can it affect the way you train, the results that you have and the way you eat, sleep and reduce or recover from stress?
Take a moment to consider the hormones that are elevated when you are in a stressful situation: adrenalin and cortisol. They raise your heart rate and elevate your blood pressure your increase your body’s ability to respond in a stressful situation.
Now - what are the hormones that are elevated after an epic training session? Adrenalin and cortisol.
You know that feeling when you’ve thought you had enough time to get through that roundabout but had to slam your breaks on at the last minute? You breathe heavier, your heart is pumping and you’re feeling a bit tingly. That’s adrenalin. Great for running away from lions and tigers 300 years ago, not so great these days when things like work, children, partners and family can make you feel stressed and burnt out.
All of this is well and good but how does it follow on to affect your training? What are the detrimental effects and how can you work to reduce stress when training rather than make it worse?
If your cortisol levels are raised this means an increase of inflammation of the body resulting in weakened immunity, anxiety, irritability, muscle weakness, fatigue, cognitive difficulties and bone degeneration. None of these are a good thing when it comes to training and muscle recovery. And definitely not a good thing for your mental health and the sanity of those around you!
You want to be in peak mental and physical state to achieve your desired results and some would say more importantly, you want to enjoy yourself while you’re training!
Enter intuitive training.
So, you’ve had a big few days at work. Your boss is on your back about that project that’s near overdue, you’ve been working over time, you’re rushing to get to the gym to train because you HAVE to do that leg set today plus have to cook the kids dinner, clean the house and try to get 8 hours of sleep – sound familiar?
This is a recipe for cortisol heaven and is not going to give you the results you wish to achieve quickly. So, what is the answer to reducing stress and still being active?
You need to listen to your body. It really is that simple.
You will start to feel refreshed, more relaxed and empowered by taking the time to think about what you ACTUALLY want to do that do rather that what you feel like you ‘should do’ or ‘need to do’.
If you have your mind on other things while you are training, are you really focusing on your mind-muscle connection and getting the results that you desire anyway? Probably not.
Arm yourself with a wide variety of options to stay fit – the gym isn’t the only option. Go for a walk outside and get some fresh air as your warm up, do a HIIT session at home if you’re stressing about lack of time getting to and from the gym, try some classes and find something new you really enjoy or even get a new training partner to mix things up a bit.
If you really are feeling those high levels of cortisol and adrenalin, do your body a favour and indulge in a low impact workout that incorporates the breath as well like yoga or pilates. Get the idea out of your head that you need to ‘smash every workout’ because you will burn yourself out if you are already stressed.
Plus, yoga and pilates will not only reduce your cortisol levels but build flexibility and core strength which we all need for quicker recovery and strong body.
Recommended essential relevant supps?
Get mindful, get intuitive and ask yourself what you really want to do this afternoon? What does your body NEED?