Physical activity as an ally to cope with the stress of the end of the year

Well known are the benefits of exercising the body for better overall health. Physical activity is well-being, it is weight loss for those who seek this goal, it is muscle tone, it is strength. And it is also a healthy heart, cholesterol under control, balanced blood glucose, good rest and a better mood.

Who does not need a dose of all that at this time of year, cast the first stone.

However, contrary to what is recommended,many people decide to pause their physical exercise routine at this time, attentive to the many social commitments, the little availability of time and the accumulated fatigue. And they only increase the vicious circle! Why? If I am stopping training, why do I feel more tired?

“In addition to the benefits that physical activity generates, at this time of year it is undoubtedly an ally to counteract stress.Exercise helps release healthy hormones such as endorphins, oxytocin, serotonin, dopamine, the so-called happiness hormones, which counteract oxidative stress from day to day, in addition to improving rest, among other things. Francisco Ozores is a national professor of Physical Education, a fitness specialist and a graduate in Sports Nutrition, and before Infobae ‘s consultation he maintained that for this comprehensive well-being he always recommends“do an activity that the person likes, not only gym, but a sport, but without stopping doing it”.

Mariela Catania, national professor of Physical Education, agreed with him, stressing that “physical activity increases endorphin levels and reduces the negative effects of stress, and this generates well-being.”“It is a quasi-automatic hormonal mechanism; even if the person is not a super athlete, doing any type of activity can help reduce stress levels”, assured.

For the Physical Education teacher and graduate in High Performance Sports Claudia Lescano, “along with the benefits that exercise brings on a physical level comes everything that involves training for the comprehensive well-being of the body, and more so in this time of balances in which people are very stressed, with emotions on the surface”. “Always doing physical activity will give well-being, secrete hormones of happiness and that is always good,” she insisted.

Why is it not time to throw in the towel?
“In December we all have many events, social commitments, class closures, and many people prefer to pause exercise and resume in January -said Catania-. The issue is that later it costs more to resume ”.

For her,”The ideal is to maintain a frequency of at least twice a week, and look for activities that are more pleasant”. “If someone goes to the gym three or four times a week and at this time they feel weak, they can choose to go for a bike ride, walk, play tennis, find other ways to keep moving and cut the routine that way ”, highlighted the specialist, for whom the key is to find other activities so as not to interrupt the habit of being in motion, and seek pleasure so that in this time of so much stress, put aside the suffering that training can generate for many people. of the whole year”.

And after clarifying that “changing disciplines so as not to lose continuity is a very common habit among athletes” , Catania remarked:“The important thing is not to cut, but perhaps to vary, so that when the routine is resumed it does not cost so much. The body has memory and if you maintain an exercise routine, it will be easier to resume after resting.

Along the same lines, Ozores emphasized that “both for these festive dates and when one goes on vacation, it is not worth throwing away all the work of a year in two weeks or a month.” In that sense,his advice is “if you are not going to move forward, at least not go back”, and for this, for him, “you always have to comply with one of the two bases: if you are not going to eat well, even if it is training and if you are not going to train, at least eat well so that later the stagnation is not total”.

Regarding the disorders that are generated in December, particularly with exits, farewells of the year, and many people who join the vacations, the specialist assured that“It is estimated that you get to eat up to double or triple the number of calories per week than those you usually eat, and if you add to that that you train half or nothing, the imbalance that is generated is very large and that generates not only physical or aesthetic consequences but also generates very large disorders at the metabolic level, since alcohol, schedule changes, little rest are added to the calories consumed, and the organic impact is very great and the body suffers a lot”.

“One of the two parts must be maintained, diet or training – stressed Ozores -. And since in the framework of the celebrations what is most complicated is the diet, what I recommend is to continue with the training on a daily basis as it has been working.Perhaps the total frequency or intensity cannot be met, but even if it is to comply with the fact of continuing to do activity”. And he added that ideally the exercise should be sustained “three times a week, for 40 minutes or an hour, and if it is not usually complemented with aerobic work, it is good advice to start doing it and always accompany it with strength work so that the state is lost. physical”.

For Lescano, “if there is a stage in which you should not stop training, it is at this time of the end of the year” . “What I always say is that they don’t stop training, but basically, as my system is based on glycemic control, then precisely at this time, which is when more disorders are made, if training is cut, that direction of hormones is cut. towards the objectives that are sought, which can be building muscle mass, getting rid of fatty tissue, etc”, he argued.

And after clarifying that “what was achieved in the year is not going to be lost by cutting ten days” , Lescano emphasized:“My system aims for people to be able to control excess glucose, and the changes that are achieved through consistent and regular exercise are not lost because you achieve neural changes that do not return to zero as easily.”

Regarding the strategy to maintain training, in Ozores’ opinion there are two possibilities:“Either you train in the morning and ensure the training of the day, or you train at the last minute, which on the one hand will help burn a little of what you ingested, but you run the risk of fatigue or lack of time miss that training. In this sense, he recommends the morning “to make sure of the day and, on the other hand, because it generates a psychological responsibility, which means that, in general, when you train, you don’t want to ‘waste’ the day by punishing yourself with food and you tend to be more cautious”.

And about whether there is a more or less effective training for this time of year, he considered that “the most effective is the one that is always done: the one that the body knows, the body tolerates and enjoys.”

Exercise as a tool to counteract dietary disorders

Regarding food for these weeks, Lescano observed that “the disorders that are made at this time lead to being more sedentary if you add the accumulated fatigue of the year.” “At this time, the consumption of so-called empty calories increases, so it will be of great help to maintain the lipolytic hormonal environment that was achieved in the year.”

For Catania, “if it is known in advance that there are going to be many events, a good option is to seek balance, be well hydrated, make the rest of the meals as healthy as possible if you know that at night to eat a little more”. And above all, she called“don’t fall into excess and the obsession of thinking ‘I ate everything, tomorrow I’ll kill myself in the gym’ because that doesn’t make sense; balance should be sought and habits should be as healthy as possible”.

In this point,Ozores proposed doing a “calorie swap.” “If you know that you are going to overeat or drink alcohol at night, the ideal thing to do during the day is to reduce calories and try to make the impact as small as possible”, advised “to be able to negotiate those calories at night and that the total intake is not so excessive, although as was said the quality of what is ingested is going to be lower”.

At this point, he recommended not neglecting hydration, “both to detoxify the blood and because when you drink alcoholic beverages you tend to dehydrate, so the day after a meeting all the more reason to increase your water consumption.”

Finally, the specialist suggested“indulge yourself, but in small portions; eat a little of everything, enjoy socially but without binge eating”.

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