There is no better way to beat stress than to work up a sweat. And NCH's Wellness Center is designed to help you do just that. Call 847.618.3500 to schedule a tour or visit the Wellness Center to learn more.
When we feel stress, we're experiencing natural physical and emotional reactions passed down from our ancestors, who had to cope with more dangerous threats than tomorrow's work presentation. But those threats were occasional. Today, stress is nearly constant—and it can affect your health. It can build up from juggling the demands of work, family and other daily commitments in our nonstop lives. And not only can stress sap your energy, make you irritable and weaken your immune system, but it can also be bad for your heart.
Stress causes a cocktail of chemicals—including adrenaline—to spill into your bloodstream. This helps you survive an extreme, immediate physical emergency. If the source of stress goes away, the chemicals' levels subside.
But if your body is constantly reacting to stress, the cumulative effects of the chemical reaction cause fatigue, irritability and an increased susceptibility to illness or disease.
The good news is that we're far from powerless when it comes to stress. The American Heart Association offers these tips for managing stress:
If you're stressed, it's harder to sleep. If you're tired, it's easier to become stressed. And because the days are shorter in the winter, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a condition in which you experience depressive symptoms repeatedly in the winter months, can increase anxiety, which increases stress.
It's a self-perpetuating cycle that can affect both your emotional and physical well-being. Break it by following this advice from experts: