By Jennifer Lee, MS RD LDN
Today you completed your workday with the eloquence and poise of Jacqueline Onassis. Yet, you feel like a deflated balloon that wants to plop down on your sofa and mentally check out. You’re wired from stress yet strangely exhausted. The last thing you may fathom right now is exercise. But, what if I told you exercise, specifically yoga, might be exactly what you need?
Chronic stress can wreak havoc on the body. It creates a constant state of fight or flight within you. As a result your kidneys continuously secrete hormones called adrenaline and cortisol. This can lead to anxiety, weight gain, and total body inflammation. This inflammation can increase your chances of a heart attack or stroke. Chronic stress also leads to over production of acid in your stomach, making you more prone to acid reflux. It can also cause an imbalance in the bacteria living in your digestive tract. This imbalance can manifest in a variety of ways including acne, IBS, anxiety, depression and diarrhea.
Although spending the rest of your night on the sofa may sound great, I offer you a much better solution for your health - Yoga. This ancient practice takes your body out of fight or flight and brings it into a state of relaxation. Yoga also teaches meditation and mindfulness, which are important tools to help increase your resilience to daily stressors. Routine yoga practice can help individuals cope with job stressors better, reduce stress and anxiety, enhance mental wellbeing and get you in fantastic shape!