Understanding the Stress Response - Part 2
The effective return of the stress response to baseline is essential for recovery
My Friends! Welcome to Part 2 of Understanding the Stress Response! Here we will discuss the importance of recovery after our stress response is activated - either by a predator, tough training cycle or life stress. This video excerpt from the Menopause Health and Fitness Specialist Course provides specific strategies for maximizing recovery. Enjoy! -Carla
In our last post, Understanding the Stress Response - Part 1, we reviewed the key pathways of the endocrine and nervous systems that are responsible for the Human response to a threat. In today’s post, we will discuss strategies for returning the system to baseline once the threat is resolved.
This “back end” of the stress response, which is returning the various systems involved in the stress response to baseline, is one that we often struggle with and this can have grave consequences. In female athletes of reproductive age, the “threat” perceived by the body can be in the form of over-training and under-fueling. When this situation is ongoing, the body senses a “famine” and works to conserve “fuel” by dialing down metabolic processes and turning off the reproductive system. This continual activation of the Fight or Flight response can lead to bone loss and poor performance in female athletes of all ages.
In perimenopausal and menopausal women, there is a heightened sensitivity to the activation of the stress response due to declining estrogen levels and greater difficulty returning the system to baseline. This is a challenging time of life because training intensity is required to keep the heart and muscles healthy, however, more attention needs to be paid to recovery efforts, such as tissue care, adequate fueling, sleep, and mindset work.
When activation of the stress response is ongoing without adequate recovery, this can lead to an increased risk of developing health problems such as physical injury, elevated blood sugar, high blood pressure, low bone mass, decreased cognitive function, and accelerated aging.
In this excerpt from the Menopause Health and Fitness Specialist Course, we will discuss some specific strategies for returning the stress response to baseline and maximizing your recovery.
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