Stress and Recovery- How To Optimize Your Health

When thinking about how to get healthier the first thing you might not think about is stressing out your body.  What most people don’t realize is that there is good stress, positive stress that pushes the body to a new, healthier level.  If you are trying to optimize your health, start a new diet, lose weight or boost your energy you have to stress the body in a different way to cause a change, there is no other way to do it.

Do you ever talk to your friends who eat the same thing every day, or do the exact same workout every day?  Notice, for the most part that these folks are kind of stuck in their health, in a way they have plateaued.  Believe it or not the body does not like to be static, to have chicken a broccoli everyday for lunch, to do the elliptical trainer at the gym every day.  To optimize your health you need to have a sound stress recovery plan that works.

While most people might feel like the above picture when they think of stress, stress actually takes your body out of it’s comfort zone so it can create something new or different.

Results are created by a cycle of stress and recovery, here are a few examples which might make more sense.

  1. I do a 10 minute kettle bell workout every morning, I go really hard for 1 minute (stress) and then I do low impact jumping jacks for 1 minute (recovery).  Every morning I pick 4 different kettle bell exercises to do so my body doesn’t get bored.  After one month of this my body has adapted to the stress and is now able to perform at a higher level.  So now I do a 15 minute workout in the morning, I pick my exercise and go hard for 1 minute (stress) and then I do my low impact jumping jacks for 45 seconds(recovery).  The important thing to note here is that your recovery phase always allows you to recover before starting the next stressful phase.  If you don’t recover than you do not go on to the next stressful phase.
  2. A grand master chess player is required to make very strategic decisions and calculations in their mind in order to stay one step or 10 steps ahead of their opponents.  The competition can be fierce (stress) so sometimes the grandmaster will take a 10 minute break (recovery) so they can clear their mind and make the right move.  Over the years this 10 minute break will turn into a 5 minute break, and then a 2 minute breaks to where the body and mind have enough time to recover and then make the right move on the chess board.

You see we all have the choice to not push ourselves, our body or our mind but that is where we become stuck.  Over thinking often times results in being overwhelmed and taking no action at all.  No action means no stress and no recovery which the body thinks is pretty boring.

Do you think the best marathon runners one day just decide they are going to go from no exercise to running a marathon?  Of course not, if you have never run a marathon perhaps it is better to start off running for one minute (stress) and then walking for one minute (recovery).  If you overdo the stress on your body than you will have no chance to recover, and this causes serious deterioration of health, moodiness, chronic fatigue, headaches and more.

I encourage you to pick 3 goals or projects that you want to achieve and use this stress recovery model to take action.  For example start a weight loss program to lose 10 pounds, write up a new business plan, start eating a gluten free/sugar free diet.  Remember this is a marathon not a sprint so don’t try to lose 10 pounds in 2 days(stress) and think your body will be happy with that (recovery)

If you would like to optimize your health, relationships, business or wealth it is very important to have a stress recovery strategy.  You can decide today to conquer your goals or projects by pushing your body to the limits and then allowing it to recover.  When I talk about pushing the body to the limits I mean this is the most natural, holistic way possible so if you are concerned about exercise and stress you may want to consult your medical doctor before implementing a stress recovery strategy.

Creating Health, Are You Really Trying Hard Enough?

Today we are exposed to many different programs, supplements, medications, exercise program and diets that claim to be able to improve our health.  If you take on a health improvement program are you really trying hard enough, meaning are you giving the effort required to get results?

I believe I know the reason that most people fail or really struggle with improving their health, energy and vitality.  As a society we have tried to attach a quick fix solution to every single problem.  How many commercials do we see with “difficulty losing weight”, “are you depressed”, “do you have erectile dysfunction”, “do you have problems sleeping at night”; all of these problems come with a quick and easy solution which is usually some kind of prescription medication.  Quick fix!, is there anything really being fixed, is the root cause of the problem being corrected?

This brings me to the point of our we really trying hard enough to improve our health?  If we try and natural weight loss program and don’t lose 10 pounds in one week we get frustrated and end up quitting the program.  People who have chronic migraine headaches try natural strategies like food elimination diets and healthy supplements but if the headaches are completely gone in one week they quit and say it didn’t work.  Diabetics or people struggling with blood sugar might try eating more of a paleo or ketogenic diet to help regulate blood sugar, but doing so makes them feel a little bit grump or tired so they end of quitting after one week.

One week of not getting the desired results seems to be the max people can go before quitting.  How have people been so conditioned to expect quick fix miracles for serious chronic health problems that they may have been suffering with for 1, 5 or 10 plus years?  The headlines get us, the commercials get us; even if we have tried every other quick fix diet to lose weight and failed this new diet that Oprah or Dr. Oz is promoting is going to finally be the one that works!  Wrong, this diet did not meet your expectations so you quit after one week.  The stats show it, over 90% of people who do weight loss programs end up failing, meaning they gain all the weight back they lost plus some.

So why do we keep falling for this instant gratification type of health programs, systems or products?  Because they sound so good and so easy; they prey on our pain points, headaches, diabetes, chronic fatigue, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, erectile dysfunction, constipation or irritable bowel.  On TV commercials we hear a pain point  or symptom and shortly there after we hear a solution, we see how happy the patient is and how appreciative the doctor is; happily ever after right?  Wrong, how did we ever think that taking a medicine to feel better ever made us any healthier?  How can we ever deal with any of these pain points if we don’t correct the underlying cause of the problem.

Here are some common chronic health conditions, and an explanation on how complex they are and why quick fix just doesn’t cut it.

Weight Loss- this has to do with blood sugar regulation, diet modification, teaching the body to process good fats and protein instead of sugar, and good quality exercise.  Two things you need to lose weight: 1. You need to understand how the body works, digestion, metabolism, fat burning and fat storage and 2. You need to do a program long enough to correct the underlying issues.  Most people have been gaining weight for 10 plus years, you can’t reverse that in one week.

Headaches- whether it be a migraine or tension headache there can be several root causes such as food sensitivities, hormone imbalance, elimination issues, blood sugar dysfunction, stress, dehydration and other things.  This is why you can’t just take a pain pill to correct the root cause of a headache, that pill can’t take care of any of the above causes.

Reflux or Heart Burn- did you realize that your stomach is supposed to be pretty acidic, it actually produces hydrochloric acid to help with digestion and fending off bacteria, viruses and other pathogens.  The actual discomfort that one experiences with reflux is actually from food that is unable to be broken down in the gut; it produces lactic acid and this is what gives you symptoms.  So taking ant-acids may help you feel better, but by getting rid of the good acid in the gut you are unable to effectively break down and digest your food.  Unfortunately some people have been taking ant-acid medication for over 20 years; how do you think their digestive tract is doing?

In summary if you have a quick fix mentality you are not giving your body a chance to be healthy.  We need to get out of the mindset of winning, losing or quitting and embrace trying.  With winning, losing or quitting you have no chance at consistently good results.  There are too many ups and downs with winning or losing, you can’t win every time so when you lose you will be frustrated.  With quitting you are always losing and most likely you will start another diet, exercise program, or health improvement program and quit after a week of not getting the desired result.  Trying on the other hand does not guarantee success but at least you are taking action and moving in the right direction.  Trying means seeing how you body changes on a new diet after 1 week, 3 weeks, 2 months and beyond.  Trying means doing high intensity low impact exercises every day for 10 minutes, after 30 days doing it for 15 minutes and after a year teaching it to others.

Give the effort, don’t let anyone or anything get in your way and you will see amazing changes in your health, energy and vitality.