Happy St. Patrick's Day! Yesterday, thanks to the gorgeous weather we're having, I pulled out my summer attire. As I'm pulling on my shorts this morning (to go with my shamrock knee socks) it seemed odd to me that it seems much of my summer attire has SHRUNK while in storage!! Which brought me to my next thought: being fit has little to do with luck. You may have genetic predispositions that put you in the "lucky" (high metabolism) or "unlucky" (sluggish thyroid) categories but here are the 5 things I need to be fit: regular cardio AND strength training (yes ladies; we need to lift those weights!), regular hydration, adequate amounts and regular patterns of sleep, enough food energy (enough food to keep your body working efficiently - too much and you gain weight; too little and you hold on to every calorie that comes into your body!), and last, but not least, inner peace! Yes! Peace! Cortisol, also known as your "stress hormone" can really play havoc on your system if not kept in check. Here is an interesting article on cortisol:
Cortisol: How It Relates To Stress
By Elizabeth Scott, M.S., About.com Guide
Updated February 22, 2012
About.com Health's Disease and Condition content is reviewed by the Medical Review Board
Cortisol, The Stress HormonePhoto From iStockPhoto.com
Definition: Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands that helps regulate blood pressure and cardiovascular function, as well as the body's use of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Cortisol secretion increases in response to physical and psychological stress during thefight or flight response, which is why it's sometimes called "the stress hormone."
Because of its involvement in the body's stress response, cortisol levels are among the most popular used to measure the presence and intensity of stress in various situations. Cortisol in itself is not harmful, and is in fact a vital part of the body's healthy functioning. However, during times of chronic stress, the body can experience elevated levels of cortisol, which can have negative short-term and long-term ramifications for health. (Read this for more on cortisol.)
Because of the damage that elevated cortisol levels and long-term stress can do, it's vital to have an effective stress management plan that includes multiple layers of stress relief strategies. Take advantage of these stress management resources for short-term and long-term stress management help, and see this resource for stress management basics.
Also Known As: "The stress hormone"