You probably already know the many health benefits of exercise, right? Things like increased cardiovascular health, improved cholesterol levels, decreased blood pressure, weight management, decreased risk of certain diseases such as diabetes, as well as many others.
But did you know that exercise can be a very effective tool for dealing with stress? Which is why Jenny Evans has taken things a step further by researching the physiological and hormonal responses to stress and exercise.
The purpose of this scientifically designed workout is two-fold: to improve muscular strength, endurance and cardiovascular fitness as well as to “burn off” stress hormones and stimulate the release of “feel good” hormones in the body.
Stress stimulates the body’s fight or flight response, which releases the stress hormones adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol throughout the body, making energy available for fighting or fleeing. When we fight or flee, the body releases the “feel good” hormones endorphins, which flush out the stress hormones. What do fighting and fleeing have in common? Physical activity!
Unfortunately we live in a very sedentary society, and if we don’t get the opportunity for the physical activity needed for the release of endorphins, the toxic stress hormones continue to circulate through the body. There is a direct link between elevated levels of cortisol and abdominal fat deposits, decreased immunity, quality of sleep and the types of food we crave.
Here’s the good news:
Scientific research shows that 30-60 seconds of brief maximal exercise increases levels of endorphins.
This interval is the exact same amount of time for which you are performing each Hit the Deck™ card. Not only will this workout get you in better shape, it improves your resiliency in two ways.
1. In the moment, it’s your reset button on stress. Hit the Deck immediately changes your chemistry from stressed to resilient by ridding your body of cortisol and then releasing the feel good hormones.
2. When you string together a handful of Hit the Deck cards into an interval training workout, it trains your body and brain to recover from stress more quickly and efficiently. It also raises your threshold for stress so you can successfully handle more before your stress response is triggered.