Cortisol, also known as the "stress hormone" is a hormone commonly found in our bodies. The levels of cortisol usually tend to rise when we're under a lot of stress. People who regularly find themselves in highly-stressful situations most often suffer from quite high cortisol levels. That's why some of them believe that by exercising, they'll only make the situation worse. However, that couldn't be further from the truth.
It is important to mention, though, that the ideal exercises for people suffering from high cortisol levels are not solely focused on exercising the body. Instead, they also must include proper nutrition and mental exercises. So, with that in mind, let's see what's the best way to approach exercising if you're suffering from high levels of cortisol.
As mentioned earlier, proper nutrition is one of the most important things you need to take care of first. Since your body's insulin sensitivity is heavily affected by your cortisol levels, you can understand just how important proper nutrition is. The first thing you'll need to do is create a sustainable meal schedule and stick to it as much as possible. By regularly skipping meals, you'll only contribute to your body's insulin resistance, which will make everything way more difficult. Of course, aside from that, make sure you eat plenty of cortisol lowering foods on a daily basis, to help your body fight high cortisol levels more efficiently. In the end, be sure to drink plenty of water to help your body get rid of any harmful toxins faster.
When it comes to finding the right exercises if you're suffering from high cortisol levels, you should first try to get your body and mind in sync. Yoga, meditation and tai chi have proven to have quite positive effects when it comes to lowering the feeling of stress - and, in turn, your cortisol levels. So, try to find some type of mind-body exercise that will help you keep your stress levels in check, and practice it as much as possible. Make it your daily habit to include at least 20 minutes of meditation in your schedule. Don't shy away from doing at least 15 minutes of yoga whenever you have the time. Remember, even the smallest amounts of exercise are better than no exercise.
Usually, people suffering from high cortisol levels tend to struggle with maintaining healthy body weight. That's because, as mentioned earlier, cortisol can really mess up how your body is processing and storing fat. That's why people who are trying to lose weight usually turn to various "get-skinny-fast" meal plans, which - as we've mentioned earlier - is the exact opposite of what you should do. Instead, it's much wiser and productive to turn to condition training. Condition training and - believe it or not - walking can really help you keep your cortisol levels in check. And, if you manage to do it right and be consistent, you'll notice those pounds shedding away sooner than you think.
Finally, it's also important to note that high cortisol levels have quite a negative effect on muscles. Since high levels of cortisol tend to break down muscle mass, people suffering from it will soon start to notice that they're not only losing their muscle mass but strength as well. If that's the case with you as well, see to it that you include more strength training into your regimen. A good strength training session will help you build up your muscle mass and it will also make you pretty tired, which should also improve your sleeping habits.
So, if you're suffering from high cortisol levels, make sure you try out at least some of these tips. Remember, proper exercise doesn't just boil down to the type of workouts you opt for. Instead, it will require you to make some other positive changes to your current lifestyle.