“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
– Ferris Bueller
A quote from one of America’s favorite 1980’s films. It’s the type of movie that when it comes on TV you can’t help but watch it no matter what point you come in at. It’s one of the most repeated quotes of the entire movie and some people “live” by it. What does it mean? How about this:
“Life is full of stress. If you don’t stop and try some relaxation or “me” time once in a while you could end up losing your memory.”
“Life is full of stress. If you don’t stop and try some relaxation or “me” time once in a while you could end up gaining weight.”
Stress and …. oh yea, Memory Loss
Preliminary studies done on rats found that when they were under chronic stress it led to impaired memory function and loss (1). The authors theorized that chronic stress impaired the memory and attention functions of the brain and that repeated stress may cause maladaptive changes in the brain. Not to mention that cortisol, the stress hormone, has been linked with depression (1). When released cortisol works to preserve the body’s fat stores, not willing to give them up. Sort of like survival mode. Bottom line: being under constant stress is not healthy for your brain!
The Weight Gain Story
Stressed-out Susan was an executive of a start-up business that required her to work more than a 40 hour work week. She was constantly under stress which led her body to pump out cortisol. In order to maintain her happiness Susan began to eat more. The more she ate the more insulin was pumped out by her body. Because she worked so much and practiced poor time management she slept very little. This cycle continued until Susan gained a lot of weight. The end.
Terrible story, but here are the important points.
1) Cortisol and Insulin work together to store extra calories as body fat (3). Stress eaters gained more weight than those who didn’t eat when they felt stressed or anxious.
2) Women that slept less than 4 hours a night consumed 300 calories more the next day than women who slept more (3).
Solution to Stress Pollution
Find some great ways to relax. These can include yoga, massages, reading a good book, recreational activities such as gardening, walking etc. Getting a good night’s sleep will help relieve stress and keep on track for weight loss. Not to mention that the more your on track for your goals the less stressed you’ll be!
Exercise is a great way to relieve stress. Cardiovascular activity is great for brain function and helping people relax. Weight training can be a great way to “take it out” on the weights. The two activities together are great for weight loss. It’s a win-win.
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and exercise once in a while, you could miss it.”
1) Fiore, Kristen. “Constant Stress Linked to Memory Loss.” MedPage Today. Retrieved from http://www.medpagetoday.com/Psychiatry/AnxietyStress/31528
2) Quote from IMDB.com. Retrieved from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091042/quotes?qt=qt0441210.
3) Daly, Melissa. “Belly Fat Be Gone.” (March, 2012). Health. pg. 55.
4) Image: Phaitoon / FreeDigitalPhotos.net