How does your body deal with stress?

Stress and the many symptoms.

We all have said, “Oh my goodness, I am under so much stress!” You may be worried about what your children are doing, accomplishing the day’s goals, work, activities, family’s health, and the list goes on and on. On the whole your body is use to functioning at a certain level: but when the stressors are high, your body does adjust to meet all the demands you are feeling. Some of the changes in your body are: heart rate increases, blood pressure rises, breathing becomes more intense, aching in neck and shoulders, and your digestion slows down.

These symptoms happen under stress due to muscles need oxygen. Your breathing will increase to naturally get oxygen in your body. Then the heart rate goes up to flow the oxygen to the muscles and your digestion slows down because your body doesn’t need the digestion at the moment.

In general stress last a minimal amount of time or until the stressful event passes. If the stress continuously repeats, your body adjusts to the stressors and this causes chronic health conditions.

Chronic conditions can be physical, mental/emotional and environmental. A physical chronic condition may be the result of having company and overdoing the cleaning in one day, sore muscles. Mental and emotional chronic conditions may result from feeling worried over something such as a child getting married, frustrating and worried feelings. Environmental chronic conditions may be from bad weather, uneven sidewalks, and second hand smoke. The stress response might be not wanting to go places.

So how do we relieve the chronic conditions from everyday stress? Exercise! When you exercise you place a demand on the body. Your heart rate increases and delivers blood to the muscles. You breathe more rapidly to keep up with your muscles’ demand on oxygen. Your muscles are working harder to keep up with the signals from your brain. As you continue to exercise you will notice a change in your stressors. You will be more under control and motivated to do things. The stressors in your life will not affect your health and cause chronic conditions

To exercise, make out an action plan. Begin slowly and be successful. Then you can add more exercise to your daily routine. Not only will you be healthier physically, but also emotionally!

For more tips on health and nutrition visit the Michigan State University Extension webpage.

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