Is stress crushing your ability to crush your health & fitness goals? Try these 3 tips!
Many of those I coach come to work with me when they find themselves frustrated with low energy, questioning their ability to perform their best & wondering, "What the heck happened to my goal crushing self?!"
If you're unsure if stress is impacting your ability to feel, perform & live your best take the quick self-assessment below & then read on to see what you can do about it!
Do you already know that stress from a high-demand job, long days as a parent or a fast-paced life is impacting your ability to remain energized, healthy & achieve your goals? Skip the self-assessment & read my 3 simple tips to take action!
A simple self-assessment to see if stress is crushing your ability to crush your goals.
Is running, training for events, or regularly exercising usually your source of sanity, stress relief & joy... but you're no longer feeling like your energetic, upbeat self?
Are you finding it hard to hit running paces, lift certain amounts of weight, or exercise for lengths of time that were previously achievable?
Are you showing up to workouts tired & feeling like your body is fighting against you, despite your best efforts?
Are you in an epic battle with exhaustion... the kind that leaves you snapping at your kids & falling asleep on the couch by 8PM?
Were you once able to play hard, work hard & exercise hard... & all of a sudden everything is just hard?
Are you buying more recovery tools, tech or supplements just to maintain a baseline of energy & recovery?
Are you dedicated, putting in the work at the gym or out running every day, but frustrated because you're not seeing progress?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, it's time to take action!
This just so happens to be my speciality, as I coach those working hard to achieve their health & fitness goals to go from good to great or burned out to badass despite stress & setbacks!
And it's after experiencing my own burnout & health breakdowns as a result of living an anxious & high-stress life, that I discovered these breakthrough ideas. If you find yourself frustrated to be in this place, know you're not alone & it's not always easy to know what to do about it.
Try these 3 simple actions to stop the stress in your life from bringing you down!
#1 Understand that stress is stress & know what to do about it.
Our body does not distinguish between positive & negative stress. Add stress from everyday life on top of the “positive stress” we are putting on our body when exercising, & it will add up to impair our body’s ability to function at its best!
If we keep going strong & ignore when our mind or body is under stress, it will put our body in a state of physiological disadvantage. This results in delayed & inhibited progress when working to achieve our goals. We started to experience the following:
we cannot recover properly from workouts (both “easy” & hard)
we cannot meet athletic performance goals, like improving our running times (or if we do, it feels like crap while we’re doing it!)
we lack mental willpower to adhere to our nutrition game plans
we are in a physiological state where we cannot build muscle
we are in a physiological state where cannot lose body fat
we are in a physiological state where we are vulnerable & prone to acute illness (i.e., we have to take time away from exercise & training due to the flu, colds, etc.)
we put ourselves at greater risk for injuries
The unfortunate fact is we are headed down a slippery slope of chronic fatigue, burnout or acquiring a health diagnosis, regardless of how good we eat or diligently we continue to exercise (i.e., cancer, hormone dysfunctions, Osteoporosis, heart disease, etc.).
A game-changer in your ability to sustain a healthy, high-performance life is to learn how to flex & adapt your exercise plans when under extra stress. In a way, you really have to learn how to be your own coach or trainer & take actions to adjust, or you will be unable to progress your goals. I detailed a simple way you can adjust your exercise or training plans when facing extra stress (without a coach) in this video here.
#2 Find sustainable mind & body strategies to keep you going strong.
We know the importance of having go-to ways to keep our mind & body strong when we are working out, competing in a sporting event or working hard to improve our health & fitness. But, did you ever stop to think about how it's even more important to have your mind & body performing at their best when faced with stress or everyday obstacles?
Being I teach this concept in my Badass Breakthrough Academy program, I see the incredible results this can have on health & performance all the time!
Imagine rather than looking for a supplement to increase your energy or just accepting low energy as "the way it is", you know simple ways to take proactive actions when you know you're going to have a high-stress week. In my program, for example, you learn about sleep banking (adding in just a few extra minutes of sleep per day for a few days in a row). There are also ways to switch up your of use caffeine to make it more effective, or if you enjoy mindset strategies, you can use simple go-to strategies to keep you extra focused & energized!
Another example: Imagine rather than rolling around on your foam roller for 20-minutes trying to address the painful knots in your back & neck after a long day at the office, you instead know how to proactively take a few minutes during your work day to reverse the impact of office life on your muscles. Can you set a timer on your work computer to get up & walk for a few minutes every 60 minutes? Can you stretch your chest muscles or quads during a conference call instead of remaining seated the whole time?
Think about how can you start to more proactively address the physical & mental stressors in your life, so they don't get the chance to derail your progress. Working with a professional to truly master this ability is a game-changer (& admittedly, I'm biased). However, any subtle shifts you can make to empower yourself with mind & body strategies to negate the impact of stress will help you more effectively sustain a healthy, high-performance life!
3. Keep it simple & pull out the "REF."
As you explore finding go-to ways to better manage stress in your life, aim to keep it simple. When it's simple, it's sustainable. You can also try my REF concept: When looking to find what works best for you, stop & call a Time Out.
Pull out the "REF" & ask yourself, "Is this REF: Realistic, Enjoyable & Flexible for my life?" Whether you are exploring a new mindset technique, supplement, app or recovery tool, if it's not simple & "REF", it's most likely not going to be realistically sustainable in your life!
It's not always easy to better manage the stress in our life, but it is possible! When stress starts to impact our quality of life, energy levels & our ability to show up in the world as our best, it's time to take action. Which of the above strategies will you explore further? Start small, but do take action to find, own & optimize what works best for you!
If you're a runner or fitness enthusiast looking for coaching support, I offer a full program to unlock your health, energy & potential to achieve your goals here. I also offer individual coaching sessions you can explore at BreakingThroughWellness.com.
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