How Exercise Can Cause You To Gain Weight

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Are you exercising too much?

Being in the health and wellness world for over 17 years, I have seen my fair share of exercise advice — push harder, do this new program, slow it down, lift heavier — the advice goes on and on.

Yet, proposing the question of how much is too much is rarely asked or even encouraged. It seems that the fitness industry often speaks to and caters those that are in need of that extra push. That extra encouragement. That little kick you might need to move your body and better your physical health.

But what about those fitness enthusiasts that are regularly pushing themselves? Or, those in love with high intensity competition? What about those who are already living stressful lives and want to incorporate the right kind of exercise?

They are a special breed when it comes to exercise, at least exercising the right way for the best results.

It is common knowledge that exercise is one of the healthiest forms of self-care that we can indulge in. Strength training helps to build muscle and cardiovascular exercise helps to keep your heart healthy. But, if you do too much of either of these, a normally healthy habit can begin to break the body down and, inversely, cause you to be weak and overly stressed. It doesn’t stop there…

If you live a lifestyle that is high in stress, this is going to compound and add to the extra stress placed on your body from regular intense exercise. It doesn’t matter if your stress is related to  work, family, mental health, or emotional turmoil — it all equates to extra stress in the body.

How do you know if the exercise you are doing is placing too much extra stress on your body? It is not always so easy to spot, but there are a few signs that do begin to present. When your body can no longer take the over-exercising, signs of overtraining typically creep in. Overtraining can signal the body to start burning muscle for fuel and store more fat, resulting in some weight gain.

Overtraining shows up as —

  • Persistent muscle soreness
  • Elevated resting heart rate
  • Increased susceptibility to infections
  • Increased incidence of injuries
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Loss of motivation
  • Insomnia
  • Decreased appetite
  • Muscle loss
  • Increased weakness

Probably not what you are hoping for with your exercise plan!

How Over-Exercising Impacts The Body

Over-exercising places excessive stress on the body. With this onset, your hormone levels begin to change — especially testosterone and cortisol (yes, women have testosterone too!).

Testosterone is important to help build lean muscle, increase bone density, and keep your heart and blood healthy. Having healthy, balanced, levels of testosterone are super important for gaining the results you want in your workouts. When excessive stress is placed on the body, cortisol levels increase and steal from your testosterone, throwing off your healthy hormonal ratios.

With the body’s delicate hormonal balance upset, it begins to signal to the body to burn muscle instead of fat. As a result, you may notice that the lifting of your usual amount of weights, running your usual distances, and performing the same type of exercises may be much more difficult than easy.

If cortisol levels rise too high and stay elevated for too long, the adrenal glands may become imbalanced and cortisol levels drop below normal. This is when weight gain occurs.

Your body has an amazing capacity to adapt, which is what makes your body so resilient.  If you keep demanding too much from your body, without the necessary rest and recovery, it will start to compromise and compensate in an effort to keep functioning.  Your stubborn body fat —especially belly fat — is just one of the ways in which your body compensates when exposed to too many stressors.

What You Can Do

Here is where I want to emphasis the importance of looking at the stress in your everyday life. Not every day will be stress-free — every day shouldn’t be — but it is about the flow of how stress enters, exits, and dances around the moments in your day. When you step back and look at the big picture, this will help guide you in the right kind of and right amount of exercise for you and your lifestyle in this moment of your life.

Start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest), how much stress do I realistically have at work, at home, and in my personal life? List out the stressors if this helps you see the big picture more clearly.
  • How am I feeling right now (i.e., tired, sore, heavy, sad, stressed, light, happy, so-so)?
  • Would pushing harder make me feel better or worse? Would slowing down make me feel better or worse?
  • Can I give my body what it really needs?

You may be quite surprised to find out how much stress you unknowingly deal with on a daily basis. When you can honestly say how much “daily stress” you are experiencing, then you can step back and look at your exercise regimen. If your “daily stress” is high, then it might be counterintuitive to hop on the elliptical trainer for an hour. It is common that people who lead a more stressful lifestyle tend to gravitate towards longer cardio as a way to deal with stress — the inner push is already in their nature. Instead, try yoga or a stretching class to emphasis stress-relieving and add gentle movement that your body is craving.

If this sounds like you and you believe you are over-exercising, here are some places you could begin:

  1. Add in more energy balancing practices. Perform low to moderate amounts of exercise and save some time to do daily stress relieving practices, such as meditation, visualization, deep breathing, and journaling. You could even sign up for a Reiki session or other energy work to help you get realigned. This allows your adrenal gland hormones to begin balancing and it helps to stabilize your blood sugar, both important for properly functioning adrenals.
  2. Stop doing long cardio sessions. If you’re doing long cardio workouts, you’re only adding to the problem.  Long cardio eats away at your lean muscle mass which is essential for increasing your metabolism to burn more calories.  And it dramatically increases your appetite making you more susceptible to unnecessary snacking and over eating. Not to mention that it can create imbalance in your blood sugar, opening you up to more food cravings and inflammation in the body. Instead of long cardio, try doing short, high intensity workouts (i.e., HIIT programs).  These workouts are much more effective at promoting fat burning hormones that target your stubborn fat. It is important to mention that if you are already dealing with more severe over-training symptoms or adrenal issues, high intensity workouts may still be too aggressive for you at this time.
  3. Change the way you lift weights. Lift heavier weights at lower repetitions instead of lower weights for higher repetitions. Lifting heavier weights has been linked to increasing testosterone levels, therefore, helping to keep the hormone balance more, well, balanced. It will also help to increase lean muscle mass and increase your overall metabolism.
  4. Make sure that you are getting adequate rest. Recovery and rest are often more important than exercising.  If you’re feeling sluggish or drained of energy, do an active recovery such as an easy walk, hike, or a leisurely bike ride. If you’re really tired, take the day off! It’s during periods of rest that your body does most of the fat burning, so don’t short change yourself.  Proper rest and recovery means you’re enabling your body to burn more fat.
  5. Feed your body (the right way). The foods we eat can place large amounts of stress on the body. A diet full of sugar, processed carbohydrates, and unhealthy fats can place a significant amount of stress on the body and increase systemic inflammation in the body. Eat a well-balanced nutrition plan of whole foods that contain plenty of vegetables, lean proteins, high quality carbohydrates, healthy fats, and a few fruits. Plenty of vegetables and colorful fruits are also high in anti-oxidants (which helps to fight the negative effects of stress on the body)! Limit your alcohol and sugar because as the body become stressed, you crave both of these more!

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How To Stimulate The Vagus Nerve To Improve Your Health

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Are you feeling a little out of control? Like you don’t know how to calm yourself down? Have you ever felt stress so deeply that it feels overbearing and like you might be swallowed up into a black hole at any given moment? 

You try so many practices to calm the mind or lessen the grip of that stress, but it still feels like a black cloud hanging over your head. 

So, you turn on some music — sometimes your favorite song and other times a song that feels emotionally strong — and you start to hum. You start to sing. And then it happens…

A break in that black cloud. A lessened grip. You know the stress is still there, but something feels different and a level of relief fills you. 

That relief might be minimal or it might be gigantic. All you know is that there is a shift in how you were feeling.

You are not imagining your relief! The lessening of the stress is all so real and that is because of what you have physically stimulated. What you activated. 

What you might not know is that a simple humming or a singing of your favorite song stimulated a nerve that is critical to help you not only manage your stress, but to also help you boost your immune system, optimize your gut health, balance your blood sugar — along with a slew of other health benefits. 

The Vagus Nerve

Your sympathetic nervous system is the part of your nervous system that moves you into action. It is your fight or flight system and if it detects a threat, real or perceived, it will trigger your fight or flight response. If there isn’t a real threat, and you do not need to activate the sympathetic nervous system, then you lean in and recruit the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the part that calms you down. 

The vagus nerve is the most influential nerve in your parasympathetic nervous system. It functions like your body’s natural reset button — playing heavily on both your emotional and physical body. The vagus nerve extends from the brainstem down into your stomach and intestines, through your heart and lungs, and connecting your throat and facial muscles. Movement or recruitment of these areas help to stimulate the vagus nerve so it can learn how to be more flexible (vagal tone). Healthy vagal tone can be thought of as an optimal balance of parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system actions that allows you to respond with resilience to the ups and downs of life. Learning how to stimulate your vagus nerve allows you to bring the calm and feel more collected.

Vagal Tone

Chronic stress and unresolved trauma can be a real bummer! Not only do they impact your life deeply, but it can also create a great imbalance between your sympathetic and parasympathetic functions of your nervous system. Because we live in a world that is over-stimulating and activating for the sympathetic nervous system, many of us need access to tools that help us engage the parasympathetic nervous system on a daily basis. 

Like I mentioned, the vagus nerve has a calming effect on the sympathetic nervous system activity. But, it is also important to recognize that individuals with unresolved PTSD or trauma often resort to a primitive expression of the parasympathetic nervous system which can lead to symptoms of fatigue or depression. When left untreated, chronic stress and unresolved PTSD can disrupt your physical, mental, and emotional health. The good news is that practices that focus on stimulating the vagus nerve can help regain balance if you are either keyed up with anxiety or shut down with fatigue.

This is why the tone of the vagus nerve is so significant.  Higher vagal tone is associated with better general health — better blood sugar regulation, reduced risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease, improved digestion and a reduction in migraines. Most importantly though, it is associated with increased emotional stability, resiliency and longevity, that which helps to balance out every other area of your life. 

Curious what your vagal tone looks like? You can easily measure it at home! Heart rate variability is a way to measure vagal tone. Your heart-rate speeds up a little when you breathe in, and slows down a little when you breathe out. The bigger the difference between your inhalation heart-rate and your exhalation heart-rate, the higher your vagal tone. The higher the tone, the more efficient you are at relaxing. 

An increase in vagal tone is linked to a reduction in overall inflammation and an increase in emotional health and well-being. Lower vagal tone is associated with mood instability, depression, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, cognitive impairment, chronic inflammation, and cardiovascular disease. 

Activating Your Vagus Nerve

  • Do yoga, but specifically any yoga practice that stimulates the path of the vagus nerve can have a profound influence on the tone of the vagus nerve.
  • Meditation — especially loving-kindness meditation, mindfulness meditation, and Om chanting increased heart rate variability
  • Slow, rhythmic, diaphragmatic breathing. In studies, ujjayi breathing showed quite effective. This type of slow breathing involved 6 breaths per minute, which would be about 5 seconds per inhale, 5 seconds per exhale.
  • Humming, chanting, or singing — especially emphasizing the long, slow exhalation to stimulate the vocal cords.
  • Thinking positive thoughts of others and increasing social connection — this stimulates the heart center of the vagus nerve.
  • Using cold water. Take a cold shower or splash cold water on your face. You can also achieve the same effect by holding a ziplock bag filled with ice cubes against your face and holding your breath. Or submerge your tongue in cold liquid.
  • Laugh more and laugh out loud!
  • Practice the Valsalva Maneuver — Exhale against a closed airway by keeping your mouth closed and pinching your nose while trying to breathe out. It increases the pressure inside of your chest cavity thereby stimulating your vagus nerve.
  • Take your probiotic. Cultivating healthy intestinal bacteria improves the mind-gut connection and your vagal tone.
  • Get some mild exercise in — it stimulates gut flow and vagus nerve activation needed to initiate this response.
  • Do some gargling. It activates the vagus nerve by activating the muscles in the back of the throat while exhaling slowly.
  • Get a massage. Neck, foot, and pressure massages may stimulate the vagus nerve, as can gently massaging around the carotid sinus located on the sides of your neck.
  • Get enough zinc. This was shown to increase vagus stimulation and is a common mineral that some people don’t get enough of.
  • Eat more seafood — According to several scientific reviews, omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA increase heart rate variability (HRV) and lower heart rate. HRV is directly linked to vagus nerve stimulation.
  • Engage in prayer and pray out loud.
  • Spend time in nature. Nature is soothing and calms the nervous system, but some studies link sunlight to increasing vagal tone.

Stimulating the vagus nerve stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which in turns reduces your neurophysiological experience of stress — super important for optimal health and wellness. It reduces your heart rate and blood pressure, influences the limbic system in your brain (where emotions are processed), and stimulates digestion so your body can absorb the nutrients you are giving it. Start practicing the art of stimulating your vagus nerve to relieve anxiety, depression, tension and the general sense of unease when stress builds up. 

Try to practice daily as a preventive measure to ensure greater emotional resilience and improved health!

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8 Tips To Stay Committed To Your Goals

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Setting the goals has never been the problem. It is easy to think about what we want and write it down on a piece of paper. 

The real challenge comes with staying committed to a goal. When life gets in the way or old thought patterns creep in, it is easy to fall off and let go of what you were once so excited about accomplishing.

A big misconception — one that I find might trip you up the most — is believing that it is all about inner motivation and willpower to get you through. Those might work for the short term and when the going is easy, but when life throws an obstacle or the sweetness of that goal isn’t so sweet, inner motivation and willpower lose their muscle strength. 

Creating real consistency and commitment goes much deeper — I mean to the depths of your soul deep. And if those uncharted territories are not ready (and willing) for the challenge, then you might just find yourself asking once again, “What went wrong.”

Or maybe you tell yourself that you are not strong enough, good enough, capable enough, worthy enough to have what you really want. The cycle begins…

Staying committed to what you say you are going to do way longer than the excitement lasts comes down to a simple concept that is the foundation of all the tips I have for you today. 

This simple concept is so simple indeed, yet it can be one of the most challenging concepts you step into — if you don’t know how to navigate it, that is.

Brain rewiring.

What is brain rewiring? The brain is made up of neural pathways that connect and bind to each other. As you begin to perform a behavior or a skill or are learning something new, those neural pathways begin to deepen. And as they deepen, they also connect to each other, creating a network of communication. This is how habits, ways of being, and belief systems are formed. Essentially, rewiring the brain is when the connections between neurons in your brain are changing. To create lasting change in anything that you do, a level of brain rewiring is necessary to occur. This could be something as simple as daily affirmations done the right way or changing the circle of friends that you spend most of your time with. Or, this could go much deeper into working through inner child trauma and shadow work. 

Staying committed to a new habit or goal requires brain rewiring and changing up the status quo. 

Regardless of where you need to start, the best thing to do is just start. Taking any step of action creates forward momentum, allowing you to begin believing in yourself and that you have the power to create change. And just the belief in yourself that you are creating is a powerful form of brain rewiring. 

You have all that power within you!

8 Tips To Help You Rewire Your Brain

  1. Start (or end) your day with visualizations. The first 20 minutes after waking up and those moments right before you fall asleep are some of the most powerful times to create change. At these two points, your brain is in a Theta brain wave state, the time that is best to connect into your subconscious and really crack into those deeply stored (and often forgotten) beliefs and stories that you have been gathering over the years. These are part of what creates who we are and how we behave. They are also part of what can hold us back and create a disconnect to staying committed to what we say we want to do. For example, if you really want to stay committed to a workout program, but you have the deep belief that taking time for yourself is selfish or it takes time away from your family, then you may struggle with staying committed to that hour of workout time that you promised you were going to do to help you in your healthy goals. Start with 5-10 minutes of quiet time, away from any distractions, and begin visualizing what you want, how you want to look doing it, how you want to feel while doing it, how you want to feel afterwards, and that you are capable of being successful at it. Do this everyday until you start seeing some shifts in your commitment level and your inner motivation.
  2. Positive affirmations spoken daily. When you give yourself  the gift of support and become your inner cheerleader, something incredible starts to happen — you begin to believe and act in ways that align to what you are telling yourself. The key with affirmations actually working is that they have to be statements that excite you, spoken with excitement and belief that it is possible, and spoken regularly. Create an affirmation statement that really pumps you up and is exciting. For example:  “Abundance and love come to me so easily and effortlessly. It is so awesome that I am working out 3 days a week and living in a strong, healthy body. I am confident, vibrant, and full of abundance. Can you believe how easily the weight just melts off of me? I am strong and powerful and full of energy. I can do anything I put my heart and mind into!” Say your affirmation statement out loud at least 10x a day. You can even record it and play it back to yourself throughout your day so that you constantly are hearing your words of empowerment.
  3. Surround yourself with people who lift you up. Surrounding yourself with other like-minded folks gives you an energy boost. When your energy is elevated, so is your motivation and inner confidence. Creating that support team is critical for brain rewiring. Sometimes the most positive and supportive people are not the closest people in our vicinity. We can not pick the family that we are born into and we can not control all the negativity that may surround you at work, but you can seek out positive reinforcement. Google search or check out your local newspaper for activities or groups that may share the same interests as you and/or are looking to create change in their own lives. When you have that support from like-minded people, you are going to be more likely to stay committed to your own goals.
  4. Journal goals and track progress. Writing down your goals solidifies them into your reality. Getting them out of your head and onto paper makes them real and workable. But, it doesn’t stop here. Tracking your goals is an important part of the  process. Like driving to a far away destination, you can not get there without a road map and without tracking where you are along that road map. Start by writing one or two goals (i.e., ” I want to lose 20 lbs) and then brainstorming on how to do that and what your timeline looks like. As you progress, regularly track your progress and see what is working and what is not. It is a great way to keep you visually motivated and remind how awesome you are doing. It is also a way to visualize what you want to see happen and how you can make that happen. 
  5. Limit time around those that bring you down.  Those that bring you down can literally suck the energy out of you. They can create an energy shift within yourself that decreases motivation. Even worse, they can continually feed you thoughts that keep you stuck in old, unproductive patterns and habits. This deepens the neural pathways and brain rewiring that you are trying to change. This could be your family, friends, coworkers, or people where you hang out. It could even be your spouse. It may not always be feasible to completely sever ties, but you still can take action. Limit your time as much as possible and, when that seems impossible, arm yourself with other tactics that preserve your energy and new thought patterns to get you through the interaction.
  6. Break down goals into small daily obtainable action steps. When creating habit change, it can feel daunting and overwhelming. Especially the deeper brain rewiring work it is that you have to do. Overwhelm causes stress, irrational thinking, and thoughts that you are not capable of reaching your goal. To rewire your brain, small action steps can set you up for success and belief in yourself. If you have a goal to lose 20 lbs in 3 months, start by breaking that down into monthly goals (i.e., 7 lbs or so per month), then into weekly goals (i.e., 4-5 days of exercise), then into daily goals (i.e., eat 2 extra servings of vegetables each day). 
  7. Create a vision board. Humans are visual creators. Vision boards are enhancing that visual need to help you focus on exactly what you are working to obtain. You can do a life vision board and put on stimulating and colorful pictures of what you would like to achieve in this life and/or you can do a specific vision board for a certain area of your life. For example, if you are looking to feel more energy and vitality, your vision board could revolve around your nutrition plans, exercise programs you want to try, how you want to look, what kind of clothing you want to buy, how your feel inside, and what your spirituality looks like – all the little things that will fulfill what having “more energy and vitality” means to you. Where does the brain rewiring come in to effect? Everyday, take a few moments to look at your vision board and picture yourself doing or being that person — What does it look like? What does it feel like? What would it mean for you? — Get excited about it coming. Day by day, you are rewiring and becoming exactly that person!
  8. Learn self-love and acceptance of yourself.  This is really what it all comes down to. When you do not believe in yourself and accept who you truly are – the unique and empowered you – it becomes almost impossible to make healthy, permanent change. Looking outside of yourself for validation and acceptance will never truly allow yourself long-term commitment to your goals. Start by focusing on what is inside you. What are your strengths and what are your weaknesses? What are your fears and what is holding you back? How do you support yourself and how do you self-sabotage? What blocks your flow and your energy? All of these are keys to working through so you can get to know, accept, and trust yourself and your intuition. This is where the deeper work comes in — the shadow work, the inner child healing, the trauma repair. To get started, you could journal on inner child work, talk to trusted friends for support and advice, go to a counselor, meditate, learn how to be mindful and grounded, or search out knowledge to help you grow and learn as a person. The process is really your creation and you can go how fast or slow you feel that you need. 

Rewiring your brain is the foundation of any goal commitment. Especially the more challenging ones! Start the process. You can choose one or many from the list above or you can use this as inspiration to explore other avenues that resonate and excite you. Just remember — you have all the power lying within you!

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Women, Weight-Loss, And How To Balance Your Hormones

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It all shifts.

Every single inch seems to shift to a part of the body that it wasn’t meant to be. 

The thighs move up to the hips, the butt moves up the belly, and the back of the arms extend their goodbye with just a little extra jiggle than you might want. 

The shift happens for men and women, but women are more afflicted because of their delicate hormonal balance that can easily get upset. 

It Isn’t All About The Calories

People have been brainwashed to think if we eat a little less or follow the latest fad diet, that the weight will just melt off of us — regardless of your age or current hormonal disposition. 

Unfortunately, there continues numerous dieting models that place this hypothesis on a pedestal, promising their female clients success. And then when it doesn’t work or only works for a short period of time? 

Well…

You blame yourself. You must have done something wrong or did not have the magical willpower unicorn to help you stay on track.

I discovered that the calorie-in/calorie-out hypothesis has been widely disproven and remains the greatest misconception women have about diet and weight loss. Calories matter, more to some women than others, but hormones matter more.

Most diets don’t work for women. They fail to address the hormonal root causes that are the most common reasons for resisting weight loss resistance — excess cortisol, insulin and/or leptin blockage, estrogen dominance, a sluggish thyroid, low testosterone, and problems with the HPA (hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal) control system.

The HPA (Hypothalamic–Pituitary–Adrenal) Axis

The HPA axis is the boss of all your hormones. It sits up high looking out over the hormonal kingdom and communicating based on how it interacts with other hormones. The root cause of cortisol imbalance is usually a dysregulated HPA axis. 

When the HPA is up-regulated, you churn out too much cortisol. Think muffin top, feeling like you’re constantly racing from task to task, feeling wired but tired, quickness to anger and irritability, and rapid weight gain.

When the HPA is constantly up-regulated, it can get super burned out, like how you feel after those days of back-to-back meetings and then coming home to making dinner and managing your kid’s soccer schedules.

At this point, the HPA becomes down-regulated and suddenly you have a lack of stamina, you are quick to catch a cold, your viewpoint turns more negative, and your thyroid begins to show imbalances.

Since the HPA is often the root cause, the key is resetting it. Any other attempt at fixing the hormones will likely fail in the long run if the HPA is not addressed and stabilized.

It All Starts With Cortisol

There are so many steps you can take to address your cortisol and it really is bio-individual. Some are more researched than others, with my suggestions below being some of the most researched and successful with my clients. Here is my simple protocol to get you started for balancing cortisol.

  • Start a regular massage routine. Getting a massage once or twice a month not only prioritizes self-care, but it also helps the muscles and the fascia to release tightness and it helps to move stuck energy throughout the body. You can do this by paying for massage and/or you can start a foam roller practice, which acts like a self massage. 
  • Add B Vitamins and Omega-3’s if you are deficient. Both of these nutritional gems helps to soothe the nervous system. You can get them in supplemental form or you can eat foods like salmon, leafy greens, liver, beef, eggs, sunflower seeds, and nutritional yeast for B vitamins. Want more Omega-3’s? Fill your meals with foods like walnuts, almonds, fatty fishes, avocados, and chia seeds.
  • Honor your voice. This was the biggest action step for my own personal success! Talk through what’s stressing you with someone you trust. Get it off your chest and learn how you can work through it so it doesn’t consume you. While you are at it…
  • Honor your energy. Restore your energy by regular meditation or yoga sessions to help calm the nervous system and bring your conscious awareness back into homeostasis and alignment.
  • Drink more green tea. L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea, helps to reduce stress. Limit your coffee and alcohol, especially if you are more sensitive to either of these. 
  • Eat more dark chocolate. Yes, eat more dark chocolate, but make sure that it is the 75% or higher variety or raw cacao. Dark chocolate is high in magnesium, a mineral necessary to balancing your stress response. 
  • Take phosphatidylserine.  Phosphatidylserine is helpful to take until you perceive less stress and your HPA is no longer hypervigilant. 
  • Add an adaptogen that helps to reset cortisol. You can try Ashwagandha or Rhodiola, often being successful when taken at night. To help increase your testosterone, you can try some Maca in the morning. 

As you get older and your hormones begin to naturally transition into a peri-, post-, and menopausal stage, it is even more important to pay attention to your stress levels and to the hormones that play critical roles. Next blog, I will be talking about the key hormonal players that you need to know about that keep you in balance and living your best life yet!

References: 

  1. Cuciureanu MD, Vink R. Magnesium and stress. In: Vink R, Nechifor M, editors. Magnesium in the Central Nervous System [Internet]. Adelaide (AU): University of Adelaide Press; 2011. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507250/
  2. Hellhammer, J., Vogt, D., Franz, N., Freitas, U., & Rutenberg, D. (2014). A soy-based phosphatidylserine/ phosphatidic acid complex (PAS) normalizes the stress reactivity of hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal-axis in chronically stressed male subjects: a randomized, placebo-controlled study. Lipids in health and disease, 13, 121. https://doi.org/10.1186/1476-511X-13-121

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