A Relaxing Pilates Flow

If you have ten minutes and want to do something for you, why not get your circulation running smoothly, stretch your neck and spine and activate your muscles with a short Pilates Flow. Here is my absolute favourite flow when I’m a little short on time but still want to do something for me:

Is stress making you fat?

Way way back when we were hunter gathers, a stressful situation usually came down to life or death. Stress induces a hormone response –  cortisol is released and puts you into a ‘fight or flight’ state, which stimulates your adrenal glands. Adrenaline makes energy readily available so you can fight or flee! When this occurs it decreases your digestive secretions and increases your blood pressure. Then cortisol instructs your cells to replenish the energy, and if necessary hold on to fat. A perfect system that allowed us to survive.

But these days stress is all too common in every day life – the journey to work can be stressful, work is definitely stressful, and then thinking about everything you have to get done after work is even more stressful! Hello chronic stress! Hello a LOT of cortisol in the body. Your body is responding the only way it knows how. The only problem is; you are not fighting or fleeing. You are sitting down, most likely solving problems at your computer. This means your body is making fat available to use, or clinging on to it in case of emergency, but you’re never burning it! And on top of this, it’s causing you to get hungry… but we crave sugary and fatty foods as they release pleasure hormones that make us feel good, which we need in response to all that horrible stress.

Cortisol encourages your body to store fat. In particular – visceral fat. This is fat around your organs. Your body thinks it’s doing you a favour. The issue is we’re not in famine, so we’re not using that stored fat, and it’s just increasing as we’re eating more. This belly fat is called omental fat.

Having too much omental fat is dangerous because it produces proteins that contribute to inflammation, blood vessel constriction, elevated blood pressure and insulin resistance.

An easy way to measure if you have too much omental fat is to take your height and your waist measurements. Your waist should be your height divided by 2, or less.

 

But we CAN reduce this belly fat, and a great way to start is by decreasing your stress levels, eating right, and doing regular exercise. By following this 4 week to wellness stress less challenge I will be helping you to do all those things… so no need to stress!