How To Keep Yourself Fit When You’re Under Stress
Having a good work-life balance doesn't just mean having enough time to rest and relax even with a heavy workload, but to actually be able to take care of oneself despite the various stresses work brings in life.
Unfortunately, despite this being quite the favorable scenario, stress can sometimes get to a point that it's too much to bear. This, unfortunately, can make life extra hard to balance with work - and can really result into various health issues. In this article, let's explore ways on how to keep yourself fit when you're under stress.
- Acknowledge the existence of stress, and try to find the cause:
It’s easy to say, “I’m stressed because of work” - but what part of work is stressing you out? Making certain documents may not be stressful, but making presentations might. This key difference can spell the possibilities of having a healthier lifestyle, and acknowledging not only the existence of stress but where it’s coming from is important.
- When you’re stressed, try to distance yourself from the stressful situation. You can deal with the emotions associated with stress at any time of the day - but for the sake of working out, try grabbing a notebook or opening a digital file and indicate just what’s making you stressed and why. Are you pressured? Is this because of lack of preparation?
- Try to find ways as to how you can solve what’s making you stressed. Stress is a natural part of life, and it won’t disappear because it’s a survival instinct. Stress is activated when you perceive what you think is a threat to your life, which means handling that “threat” will make the stress disappear. As such, with the acknowledgment above, just what do you think are ways to solve that problem? Do you need better scheduling? Are you lacking certain tools?
- It’s helpful if you share your woes with a supervisor or a therapist. This at least allows you to get someone else’s take on the issue at hand, and might help you find ways to mitigate your sources of stress.
- Part of what makes working out under stress fun is that you have a reason to start ignoring stress. When you start thinking that your health and welfare needs to be prioritized just as you need to prioritize work or school, you can start exerting your stress while working out - which is in itself a good way to unwind.
- Plot Your Workout Routine According To The Time And Effort You’re Willing To Exert:
In terms of working out, it’s important to understand that there’s no “right” approach for everyone. Bodies are built differently, and lifestyle choices make working out quite a puzzle even for professionals themselves. Finding a routine that works for you will definitely take time, but it’s what makes working out fun.
- What sort of fitness do you want to achieve? Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to be fit? Do you want to build muscle? Do you want to simply be active? Your answer here pretty much dictates the kind of research you should do in terms of exercise activities. Remember, focus on cardio if you want to lose weight, and focus on weight exercises if you want to build muscle. Doing the middle ground is an option, but progress on both losing weight and building muscle may be on the middle ground as well.
- Given your schedule, what sort of workouts can you do? Light, moderate, and heavy workout options exist - with the levels ranging from simple to varied movements, to low and high repetitions and intensities. Try to have a plan on workouts to do when you’re busy (which can be multiple light workouts) or when you’re not (which can be one big workout).
- Do you think a gym membership is practical? Some people rely on gym equipment of the various benefits it offers, and some like to do the classic home treatment. Think of things such as distance and fees before you opt to using the gym, and try assessing the kinds of workouts you want to do before availing full-time membership.
- Always remember that variation is important, as it lets your body know that it can’t get used to a particular set of activities all the time. Complacency is a physical thing, too, and doing the same thing over and over again can make your muscles not exert effort anymore. Try to do variations of work outs every three (3) months.
- Take Note Of Diet And Start Taking Lots Of Rest:
If you want to start working out but at the same time you consider yourself a workaholic, you may want to start reconsidering the way you do your work. Too much work can make you not only “bland,” but not enjoying life’s offerings may make you not enjoy work and school, and therefore you become unproductive. Working out can be a great way to unwind and let you enjoy the pleasures of at least prioritizing yourself. Part of these include adopting a healthier lifestyle, alongside lots of rest.
- Dieting not necessarily means cutting, but rather dietary moderation. While opting for healthy options is good, admittedly temptations happen as well. Try to offer yourself a cheat day every week in order to “cleanse” your palate of the diet you’ve chosen. You don’t necessarily have to go for complex meal restrictions yet. Try to lessen your sugar, lessen your snacks, and lessen your portions. You can start with these and switch to specific meals once you’re comfortable.
- You need to start taking more rests if you want your work out to start having an effect. Remember that working out means engaging your muscles and stimulating growth - but the actual growth happens while you rest and your body starts rebuilding itself. Try as much as possible to get more than six (6) to seven (7) hours of sleep everyday, in order to start observing the effects of your workout.
- Accept That Fitness, Especially With Commitments, Can Take Time:
It can be frustrating to start to commit to a new lifestyle, only for you to find out you can’t continue after a few weeks because of a shift change or other commitments. It’s important then to acknowledge that because you have work and other things happening in your life, keeping yourself fit won’t be as easy as when you had a lot of time back in college or high school. Understanding this and accepting it can make it less of an emotional baggage for you in the long run, and you can actually start having fun in the process.
- Take time to process all the above information, as you don’t necessarily have to possess all the answers in a span of days or weeks. Take time to plan your routine, your diet, or your new lifestyle depending on various circumstances that may happen around you. Being careful as early as now is important as this allows you to plan for any eventuality that may or may not impede your progress.
- See if you can commit to a light, moderate, or intense workout. Variations of light, moderate, and intense workouts are ideal in order for the body’s metabolism to get used to physical activity, and therefore burn much faster. However, it’s important to understand that you should only exert energy to activities you can do consistently. Heavy exercise that result to a few days’ off at work is impractical, so only do what you can.
- Can your body handle a different schedule when you fit working out with work or school? Part of what can make you stressed during this endeavor is the reality that having commitments can cancel certain workout sessions. Try to play around with your schedule options and see if you can do one big workout for the week, a round of moderate workout each day, or sets of light workouts on a span of a day.
- Most importantly, remember that the best fitness plans are the ones you can commit to for the rest of your life. As such, when you decide on a plan, remember that it has to be something you can consistently do for a long time.
The Takeaway: Being Fit During Stress, Is This Possible?
A lot of people might find it difficult to do a lot of things while under stress - and this is a serious matter, as sometimes stress can pin us down and make it extremely difficult to function with our daily routine. What more if the goal is to keep fit, right? Just how to keep yourself fit when you're under stress can almost seem impossible.
However, if there's anything the above can share, it's that it might actually be possible to keep oneself fit even during stressful times - it just needs a lot of patience, effort, and perhaps even management skills. Remember, if you find it hard to manage your stress, an efficient method is to take deep breaths and try distancing yourself from the situation. Who knows - you might actually find a silver lining in your schedule. We hope you enjoyed this article from Members Own.
Jessica is a professional health expert who works for some major health industry giants. She currently writes for Members Own and is dedicated to helping people learn more about health related topics along the journey. When she's not a health advocate, she enjoys some down time traveling or talking with family.