At the moment I know a lot of people are pretty worried about the effect being stuck indoors is going to have on their waistline. Let’s face it all this sitting around and boredom snacking isn’t going to make us any slimmer. There is however a more insidious threat to our waistlines which no one’s really talking about… This is, for many of us, one of the most stressful times of our lives. You may or may not be working, but you’ll certainly be worried about loved ones and what the future holds in general. Now stress itself is one of the biggest contributors to weight gain there is. On a simple (and slightly oversimplified) biological level, stress raises cortisol levels, which raises blood sugar which causes you to store more food as fat. So we want to avoid it as much as possible if we are to stay trim. Now, most of us, when we think of stress in this time will think about the financial stress, the psychological stress caused by the uncertainty of our situation… But stress comes in many forms. Being indoors itself is stressful to our system. Wifi, lack of sunlight, lack of contact with the earth, lack of nature, lack of forced temperature adaption, mould in our houses, social isolation, loneliness, lack of laughter and too much screen time all contribute to the underlying stress levels felt in the body, even if they are only subconsciously felt… And the body only has one response to stress: Dump cortisol, raise blood sugar and store fat… So anything we can do to lower stress levels in this time is going to do both our mental health and our waistlines the world of good. Luckily for us there are some things you can do right now, really simple things which will help you to control stress levels, feel better and have a positive impact on your waistline. SHOWERS Now I’m not for one minute suggesting that your not maintaining your daily hygiene but there is one thing you can do when you’re in the shower which can really help you reduce stress and boost your immune system at the same time (get your minds out of the gutter gents!). The benefits of cold water have been known for a while now. Cold water exposure leads to the creation of an increased amount of white blood cells, those internal warriors who protect you from viruses. But it also has a up regulating effect on our parasympathetic nervous system…that part of the nervous system which (quite literally in this case) chills us out and de stresses us. So at the end of your shower just turn the temperate all the way down for 30 seconds before you hop out. 30 seconds is enough to reap the benefits and I guarantee you’ll feel amazing afterwards. A word to the wise. The first few times you do this it may feel pretty unpleasant but the body reacts very quickly and within…
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