…you get off your bike during a training ride to see if the brakes are rubbing (and that’s why it’s so hard and you’re going so slow) AND THEY’RE NOT.

Ugh.

Backstory:  

  • Sunday:  My back goes out and I can’t turn my head.
  • Monday:  Deadline I can’t miss, so no going to the chiropractor.  Don’t sleep well because my back/neck hurt.
  • Tuesday:  Long day of flying and connections.  Land at destination, get voicemail they found a tumor in my father’s intestines and he’ll be having emergency surgery the following day.  Get to the hotel and do a moderate 60 minute workout thinking it will loosen my back and I feel gross after sitting all day.  Can’t sleep because my back/neck are killing me.
  • Wednesday:  Day of presenting followed by long afternoon/evening of flying and connections.  Crappy sleep again.
  • Thursday:  Drive down to visit father in hospital.  Sitting in car followed by sitting at hospital followed by more sitting in car.  Get home and HAVE to go for a bike ride = I’ve been sitting more in the last 3 days than I can stand, and OH YEAH – THE IRON GIRL DUATHLON IS THIS WEEKEND.

I’m so tired driving home from the hospital I think I’m going to go off the road, but keep reminding myself I have to get on my bike when I get home.  It’s seriously the last thing I want to do, but I know I have to do it.  And that is why my ride sucked.  Bad.  But I still did it, and was so glad I did after it was over.  I slept like a rock last night and today I’m ready to take whatever life can throw at me.

I’m sure you can relate to this scenario in that LIFE HAPPENS, which can make it difficult to take care of yourself.  Workouts are usually the first things that get cut.  What we all need to understand is that when things get really crazy and stressful, the BEST thing we can do is to workout and here’s why:

You experience stress

stress response or “fight or flight” is activated

stress hormones are released

you fight or flee

stress hormones are burned off

endorphins and endocannabinoids (bliss molecules) are released

balance is restored

Here’s where the system is short circuited in today’s day and age:  no fighting or fleeing.  You may be thinking “What the heck is she talking about?  Of course I don’t fight or flee when exposed to stress.”  EXACTLY.  What do fighting and fleeing have in common?  They are intense physical activity.  In today’s day and age we live in a very sedentary society that is filled with stress.  When do we get to burn off the stress hormones?  We don’t!  And so they continue to course through the body and lead to things like insomnia, increased body fat, crazy food cravings, decreased immunity and increased risk of heart disease and some forms of cancer.  

When you are stressed out you HAVE to exercise.  It’s one of the few healthy ways we get the endorphin and endocannabinoid release, which restore balance both mentally and physically.  

As a stress expert, my philosophy on stress is a little different than most (read more on my philosophy here).  Instead of obsessing over how to reduce stress (good luck!), use the body in the way it was designed to function.  When you get intense physical activity not only is balance restored, you’ve left the body stronger and more able to handle the next bout of stress that comes your way.  I’ve specifically designed Hit the Deck™ to do just that:  go from distress to de-stress – burn off your stress hormones, release your bliss molecules, increase your threshold for stress, and improve your recovery from stress.  All while giving you a killer aerobic and resistance training workout using no equipment.  Simple.  Efficient.  Effective.  

The next time your stress response is activated, go with it.  Get the intense physical activity your body needs to restore balance – it’s your chance to hit the reset button.  And it doesn’t have to be a long workout – fight or flight was designed for short bursts – either it was over with or you were over with in a very short amount of time.  

The workout may suck, but your levels of stress won’t….