Wednesday 130925

For time:

400m Run
50 Push-ups
400m Run
50 Pull-ups
400m Run
50 Toes-to-bar
400m Run
50 Pistols

Post times to comments and BTWB.

Fernanda, preparing to get under the bar for a snatch balance.


How To Make Stress Your Friend

In a TED Talk I recently watch by Stanford University psychologist Kelly McGonigal, the question was posed of whether or not stress was bad for you. I would bet that most of us probably think that it is. In an interesting study however (performed on 30,000 people over the course of eight years), something different was found. In and during the study, the experimentees were asked a couple of questions:

  1. How much stress have you experienced in the past year?
  2. Do you believe that stress is harmful for your health?

Here is where the results of the study get interesting. Of those who said that they experienced a lot of stress throughout their past year of existence, mortality rates increased by 43%. That’s the bad news. But here’s the catch: that number only applied to the people who thought that stress was harmful to their health. The people who stated that they did not think that stress was harmful to their health had some of the lowest mortality rates of the entire study. Weird, right? Also found during the study that the belief that stress is bad for you added up to be the 15th highest cause of death in the Unites States! 

So, the idea from Ms. McGonigal is to change the way you think about stress to change the body’s response to it. For instance, normally when we feel stress, for some of us, our normal inclination may be to suppress it. But what if you viewed it instead as a sign that your body is energized and prepared to meet the challenges ahead of you? That pounding heart? Yeah, it’s preparing you for action. Are you breathing faster? Awesome, your body and brain are now becoming more oxygenated. When people were taught to view stress this way, something interesting happened: Blood vessels stayed relaxed, and did not constrict. Normally, when people are stressed, their blood vessels constrict, which is why stress is often associated with cardiovascular disease. The state of the body, with heart rate elevated but with blood vessels not constricted, looked remarkably similar to the body when it’s in a state of joy! 

The moral, in short, is that if you change your mind about stress, you can change your body’s response to stress. The idea is this: to view stress as your body being in an energized state, ready to meet the challenge that awaits you. Your body believes what you are telling it; you just have to give it the right message. Additionally, whereas many may bottle up stress, using stress to our advantage will move us to reach out to people, to seek support, and would, in theory, help us in our relationships. This has to do with the release of oxytocin during stress, which is a stress hormone (it’s is normally associated with moments of joy and closeness). So, next time you become stressed, try to think of it in a different light. The effects of doing, according to the science and research now emerging, may have great effects on your health. 

The link for the video is HERE. It’s worth the 15 minutes to watch it. 

Also, a reminder that the Verve Fall Power Rowing Challenge is officially under way. 

And Verve nutrition hours are every Thursday from 12PM – 1PM and from 5:30PM – 6:30PM. Please schedule schedule 20 minute blocks of one-on-one time or drop in for a quick question.

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