Stress and Health

There is a close link between stress and weight gain in middle age group women.Especially for women the Stressors or causes of stress depend mainly on  demanding lifestyle ,interpersonal relations ( within family or at workplace) and circumstances . But it also depends on how the situation is perceived , it can be a positive challenge for one or  anxiety causing for another. women especially in mid life respond to stress in a rather accentuated way . And women can easily blame  it on hormones.

Women of 21st  century   face stressors like economic status, workplace stress and poor work-life balance. On a  personal level they may get stressed due to conflicts in relationship .They deal with demands from kids, partners, in laws, workplace seniors but are too stressed to look after themselves .They often feel neglected , they have low self esteem. 
Some life altering situations like death , major illness, divorce also drain them emotionally and physically. 
Thus  simple stress as well as chronic stress work at   hormonal level and brings about many changes.
It speeds up ageing process. It shows in premature greying of hair, wrinkled skin, sagging,dryness etc. 
The stress response  causes increased fat accumulation.
The hormonal levels and their ratios get disturbed which eventually cause different menstrual problems.
Chronic stress  leads to hypertensive and cardiac problems too. 
Some women under stress tend to starve or eat hardly 2/3 meals in a day as they are too busy looking after loved ones or do mot give importance to themselves as an individual . That causes nutritional loss over longer period of time .Body responds by slowing metabolism and weight gain (!)
Interestingly stress also manifests in Comfort Eating( ladies remember those shakes and pastries or all wrong calory loaded  foods eaten while dealing with stress ) . It is body’s  response to deal with the stress The carbohydrates raise serotonin or ‘feel good hormone ‘ levels so it’s body’s self help solution ,it directly gives weight gain .
Another hormone released during stress is cortisol which Is related to fat stores and energy usage. It results in more hunger n cravings . So again weight gain is the outcome
The so called ‘ remedy ‘for stress for some is alcohol consumption and smoking but which again leads to cardiac , renal problems, weight gain, cancers ,psychological problems and many more .

stress thus diminishes quality of life, it leads to addictions, wrong foods, no food leading to  diseases like hypertension, Diabetes, cardiac, renal problems which were few years ago problems in old age . But stress has brought all these to 30s.

Stress  management is  very crucial to avoid problems created by it which may otherwise lead to intense complications.

1.we have to identify and avoid Comfort foods, Task Foods( junk food at workplace while completing the deadlines).
2. Make wise choices and control portion sizes.
3. Never go hungry for a long time as it will lead to wrong food choices .
4.Organise yourself and keep a stress log so that you identify and deal with stressors effectively.
5. Engage in exercises , they too release ‘ feel good hormones .’
6. Be positive in life , deal with stress by considering all sides of the problem , then you may perceive it differently.
7. Try and learn something new at this juncture of life which will keep your mind occupied , keep mind away from stress .it will rejuvenate your brain cells .
8. You have to love yourself , You can be your biggest fan. You have to place ‘ you’ at a  prime position. You can not neglect’ you’.
9. Learn relaxation techniques .Spend some time every week pampering yourself.You have definitely earned it.

So ladies be aware of the dangers of stress induced weight gain . Try to tackle stress . That’s the key to happy n healthy 30s to 50s.

Modify your Exercise pattern

The physical and emotional needs after 30 are different so we need to addresss those differently. Thechances of getting Diabetes, cardiac problems,Hypertension, Hormonal imbalances are more due to stressful and somewhat sedentary lifestyle which is  same for homemaker as well as working women.Also 40s also bring about muscle loss , lowered BMR, loss of flexibility , joint discomforts .Exercises are one of the best ways to tackle of advancing age relatedproblems .
Even for a regular exercising person the exercise pattern in their20s will be  ineffective . You will notice those same   reps or sets or exercises are little difficult to achieve or don’t give effects as desired . You will burn less calories due to less BMR ( it’s amount of energy used up for bodily functions at rest,like calories used up on breathing , digesting etc) especially in women the menopausal or perimenopausal changes bring about lowered bone calcium levels due to lower estrogen.
All these slowly and steadily lead to  weight gain , altered posture , lowered stamina and strength but worry not … That hourglass figure is not entirely unachievable , you just have to start or restart that fitness routine . You just have to modify exercises to get optimum benefit .

1. Strength training is absolutely essential to Improve bone density . Those dumbbells , barbells , Therabands will have to be put to good use . This will lower the risks of  fractures in old age .

2. Core training , pillates are good to improve core strength ( core comprises of your back, chest, ab muscles  all except your limbs ) and to get back that fantastic waist. Also core muscle strength helps to maintain perfect posture.

3.avoid high impact cardio activities to avoid injuries .try non weight bearing activities like swimming , cycling  ,Aqua -Aerobics .

4.Yoga , meditation will help to destress which will bring about relaxation.

5. Try to workout especially for back, triceps, hips and Abs which are more susceptible to change due to advancing age .

6. Working out with a partner is a great way for motivation . It helps in achieving fitness goals as well as gives  psychological support .

7. Try to ditch those remotes, swiveling chairs , cars .. Try maximum physical activities in your daily routine  to keep away those steadily piling pounds due to lowered BMR.

Thus a Regular  exercise regime with cardio , strength training and yoga will definitely improve posture  (which is definitely going to worsen otherwise)strength n stamina ( to easily tackle demanding lifestyle), hormonal balance ( to bring about smooth sailing into advancing age ).

So ladies go for that chic gym gear , hit the gym or exercise classes, remember No pain No gain ! And those hit the Gym regularly try different n challenging exercises concentrating on your core muscles.
Regular n  modified exercise regime is a key to happy n healthy 30s to 50s .

Happy and Healthy 30s to 50s

It’s said that women are in their prime in their 40 s .. They are more clear about their wants and needs , they are more confident in their sexuality , more settled at homefronts or workplaces … But
But at physical level everything may not be hunky-dory..
She is at a major crossroads where her hormones start playing havocs ..
This may encompass Mid thirties to mid fifties … the transitions towards menopause .. Some get it rough some get it smooth ..
She is going through a phase of hormonal rollercoster ride . That havs a impact which she may never have experienced before ..
Here in this blog I will try to discuss the issues women face from mid  thirties to mid fifties  along with diet n exercise solutions to combat those! This is so much that’s happening to me , you n  many  women that I have come across being a fitness consultant for many years.

Most women in their mid  life experience different physiological changes mostly leading towards menopause .
Menopause literally means stopping of menstrual cycle . This may mark end of fertile phase in a women’s life . It is not a disease, it’s nothing to be ashamed of, it’s just a phase , a natural process . But the changes set in many Years before actual menopause . They come under perimenopause .

Perimenopause or around the menopause phase  is symptomatic of hormonal imbalances and is the most disturbing  phase where irregular periods are quite comman.
The otherwise “like a clockwork ” menstrual cycles get mind of its own ( as if we haven’t put up with enough ‘minds of its own )
it’s a total chaos time … Heavy periods( draining), no periods ( constant fear of unwanted pregnancy), frequent periods ( surprise! ) n queen of all is periods that don’t stop for months ..  ( no .. It happens ..believe me …)..creeping weight gain ( no need to elaborate), irritability ( like a pressure valve .. Ready to burst ), migraines , fatigue ….
And all these ‘surprises are  difficult to deal with in a otherwise stressful n fast life of a 21 st century superwoman !
Hormonal imbalance occurs  when our sex hormone levels fluctuate too widely or too quickly, outside the range that your body can manage. There are also changes in the cycling and ratios between estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and luteinizing hormone (LH).
Tthe cumulative effects of poor diet, chronic stress, lack of sleep, too little exercise, and environmental toxins in this 21 st century lifestyle  takes a toll on our bodies resulting in  hormones  imbalance. Once this happens, the problem tends to escalates over time, unless you offer your body the kind of support it needs to restore hormonal balance.
Ofcoarse doctors are there to prescribe HRT or other medications but women should understand that they are not alone .. Not all but many women experience one or many symptoms of perimenopause .

But a healthy life style will help in smooth sailing through perimenopause .. Right n timely  eating , proper exercises , destressing are the most important combat tools for hormonal imbalance .

1. Avoid High Omega-6 Polyunsaturated Fats
Advisable to use coconut oil , pure ghee , olive oil ( no heating)
2 . Avoid caffeine .. It increases stress.. Opt for green tea instead
3. Avoid fat illimination fad diets .. They deprive body of hormonal building blocks
4.toxins from plastics, pesticides etc have chemical comp similar to hormones .. So avoid
5.exercise which will reduce stress … Rhythmic exercises, deep breathing , meditation
Please let me know if you are going through this or something else ,

you are not alone