Is Stress Negatively Affecting Your Weight?

Is Stress Negatively Affecting Your Weight?

Stress and cortisol. They seem to go hand in hand. Why? Well, cortisol, typically known as the “stress hormone” is released when our bodies go into a state of fight-or-flight. This response can also result from physical or psychological stress. When our bodies are experiencing a stressor, our adrenal glands, located above the kidneys, discharge cortisol. Cortisol floods our bodies with glucose, giving our bodies an immediate source of energy.

That doesn’t seem too bad, does it? It’s just energy after all.

The problem is, under constant stress our bodies can start elevating cortisol levels. This results in glucose being consistently pumped throughout our bodies, which can lead to increased blood sugar levels.1 If you’ve ever found yourself wondering why you’re not losing that stubborn belly fat, your cortisol levels could be a contributing factor because “cortisol can mobilize triglycerides from storage and relocate them to visceral fat cells (those under the muscle, deep in the abdomen).”2 That stored fat hiding under muscle is what causes stubborn belly fat.

But, before giving cortisol a bad name, remember that it’s there for a reason. Proper levels of cortisol can help regulate blood pressure, assist with anti-inflammatory responses, help with blood sugar maintenance, and aid in proper glucose metabolism and proper immune function.3 All-in-all, that pesky little stress hormone on its own isn’t all that bad and other factors can play a part in stress and weight gain.

Outside factors can also play a part in weight gain. Working long hours, having a busy schedule, and rushing from one appointment to another can limit the amount of time you have to exercise, which is needed to help boost health. Aside from not exercising, if you’re stressed and always in a rush, chances are you’re opting for more fast food choices. When you’re not the one preparing your meal, you’re not in control of what’s going in it. Fast food can generally be both high in sugars and fats, so opt for at-home dining to prevent weight gain.

Helpful Ways to Combat Stress

The Mayo Clinic suggests the following strategies to help with stress management4:

  • Eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise and plenty of sleep
  • Practicing relaxation techniques such as yoga, deep breathing, getting a massage or meditating
  • Taking time for hobbies, such as reading a book or listening to music
  • Fostering healthy friendships
  • Having a sense of humor
  • Volunteering in your community
  • Seeking professional counseling when needed

There is no secret way to live a stress-free life. Stress is simply a part of it, but it doesn’t have to be the whole of it. Learn and practice healthy ways to manage your stress, and you may notice less of a struggle with your overall health and weight. If you still feel like extra assistance is needed to help you achieve your ideal body weight or if your stress levels feel unmanageable, speak with your physician or another medical professional and see if there may be additional or alternative solutions that would work best for you.

Sources:

  1. Aronson, Dina, MS, RD. “Cortisol – Its Role in Stress, Inflammation, and Indications for Diet Therapy.” Editorial. Today’s Dietitian Nov. 2009: 38. Today’s Dietitian. Web. 29 June 2017.
  2. Ibid
  3. Elizabeth Scott, MS | Reviewed by a Board-certified Physician. “What You Need to Know About the Stress Hormone.” Verywell. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 June 2017.
  4. “Chronic Stress Puts Your Health at Risk.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 21 Apr. 2016. Web. 29 June 2017.

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Member Spotlight | A Will to Live Longer

Member Spotlight | A Will to Live Longer

“I finally came to the conclusion that a trainer was less expensive than a funeral.”

Randy B.

LA Fitness member

Randy B. of San Marcos, CA joined LA Fitness 6 years ago as he was nearing the golden age of 50. His sudden proactive attitude spawned from a troubling family health history. His father died at the young age of 52 from heart failure and diabetes, and his grandfather passed away at age 50, also from heart-related issues. With Randy’s own age suddenly nearing that seemingly fateful number, he made the decision to change his lifestyle and make fitness a priority. At the encouragement of friends already training with Pro Results® personal trainer Brandon W., Randy followed suit and started training with Brandon W. at LA Fitness three times a week.

Due to his job as a retail manager, which involves a lot of time spent at the computer or in the car, Randy started noticing that he was experiencing shoulder issues, and shared what was happening with his trainer Brandon. Brandon immediately began working on methods to help strengthen Randy’s shoulders, chest and back to help improve these issues. Since switching up his training routine, Randy shared that “the work Brandon has done has also had a major impact on my posture which has eliminated any back pain.” Even though Randy will be undergoing shoulder surgery soon, he notices the exercises he’s been doing have helped improve his strength, which his doctor says will help with the recovery.

“I finally came to the conclusion that a trainer was less expensive than a funeral. While personal training may seem expensive, it has such a positive impact on your overall results and thus your overall health, that it really can change your quality of life,” shared Randy B. When Randy first started personal training, his original goals were to lose 25 pounds, work on general strengthening and to improve his overall cholesterol. Since starting the Pro Results® program and working with Brandon W., Randy has lost 55 lbs., lowered his blood pressure and cholesterol, and increased his overall strength and energy levels!

Today Randy’s goals are to maintain his weight, continue strength training, and improve both his flexibility and cardio. He credits his success to his trainer Brandon W., who inspires him by always being persistent on follow up, talking him through the functionality of what they are doing, and explaining how it will help Randy better perform in life.  Randy shared that his conversations with Brandon are focused on asking questions about what he does—what he does well and also where he struggles. Brandon then tailors Randy’s training to help him meet his specific goals.

Aside from the fitness building duo team of Randy and Brandon, Brandon introduces his clients to each other and encourages them to work together and help hold each other accountable. Randy expressed that “it builds a total gym training family [and] support group which keeps all of us going.” Not only that, but having others around you working towards similar goals can help spark, and rev up, that competitive spirit. Having a healthy and encouraging group of friends can help you push yourself to be better, even on the days where going to the gym may seem tiring. As for Randy, he plans to continue staying active and eating healthy so that he can live a long, happy and healthy life.

Are you ready to take control of your health? Learn more about Pro Results® today.

Results will vary. Consult with your doctor before starting a new exercise program. Pro Results® personal training services are subject to additional fees and a separate agreement.


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ASK A TRAINER: Ep. 2 – Body Weight vs Heavy Weight; Which is Better?

ASK A TRAINER: Ep. 2 – Body Weight vs Heavy Weight; Which is Better?

Welcome to another edition of Ask A Trainer!

LA Fitness Pro Results® Master Trainer, Geoff F., answers our question of the week. Check it out below!

Do you have a fitness question? Ask one of our certified Pro Results® trainers here! Your question may be featured in an upcoming Ask Our Trainer video.**

3 + 5 =

**Selected submissions will be featured on the LA Fitness blog and possibly other LA Fitness digital media entities & websites. By making a submission, you hereby grant LA Fitness a non-exclusive, perpetual, worldwide, irrevocable license to use and make copies of the contents of such submission for any purpose and in any medium whatsoever, and you hereby waive and relinquish any copyright or other intellectual property right you may have in the contents of such submission and your right to pursue any claim for LA Fitness’s violation of those intellectual property rights.


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Commit to Fit | Member Spotlights

Commit to Fit | Member Spotlights

commit to fit logo, LA Fitness, member fitness goals

Do you have a fitness goal? Let us know here! To learn more about Commit to fit, click here.

Goals, Commitments, Community

These are our most recent members who have committed to their fitness goals.

Elsy W., Clara Q., Elizabeth A. & Andrea A.

We love seeing family’s getting fit together! Elsy W. would like to maintain her health and weight, Clara Q. would like to lower her body fat percentage, Elizabeth A. wants to lose belly fat & Andrea A. hopes to get toned, run faster, and lift heavier! Awesome job ladies!

 

Perry W. & Rocky L.

Perry W. & Rocky L. are well on their way to accomplishing their fitness goals – it always helps to have a workout buddy! Perry W. is working on his way to getting ripped and being mentally balanced with his body. Rocky L. hopes to gain weight. We believe in you guys, keep up the hard work!

Stephanie F.

Stephanie F.’s fitness goal is to have a fit body & work out everyday! Stick to your goal Stephanie, you can do it!

Ashley R.

Ashley R. wants to loose fat & replace it with muscle. You’ve got this, Ashley!

Christian S.

Christian S. shared with us that he wants to stay in shape at 185 lbs.! If you put in the hard work you can accomplish anything Christian!


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ASK A TRAINER: Ep. 1 – What Are The Best Moves for Building Glute Muscles?

ASK A TRAINER: Ep. 1 – What Are The Best Moves for Building Glute Muscles?

Welcome to our first episode of Ask A Trainer!

LA Fitness Pro Results® Master Trainer, Geoff F., educates us on some of the best moves for building glute muscles. Watch below!

Do you have a fitness question? Ask one of our certified Pro Results® trainers here! Your question may be featured in an upcoming Ask Our Trainer video.**

5 + 13 =

**Selected submissions will be featured on the LA Fitness blog and possibly other LA Fitness digital media entities & websites. By making a submission, you hereby grant LA Fitness a non-exclusive, perpetual, worldwide, irrevocable license to use and make copies of the contents of such submission for any purpose and in any medium whatsoever, and you hereby waive and relinquish any copyright or other intellectual property right you may have in the contents of such submission and your right to pursue any claim for LA Fitness’s violation of those intellectual property rights.


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