Is Chronic Stress Killing Your Workout?

You already know that stress is bad for you and can affect your mood and work habits; however, did you know stress could also be affecting how you workout. It is crazy that a good workout is the perfect remedy for stress, but a stressful day could be killing your workout. Find out how your chronic stress levels could be derailing your fitness goals.

Stress Affects Motor Control

Since stress interferes with the brain, it can impair your motor control and coordination. Because of this, you are at a greater risk for injury when you workout while under stress’ influence. Stress can also increase muscle tension, which also will slow down how you perform in the gym.

Stress Keeps Your Muscles from Recovering

Exercise is a good form of stress that actually will make your body stronger. However, chronic stress keeps your body from handling the stress of exercise. Chronic stress makes individuals take a longer time to recover from their workouts. One Yale study found, “An hour after the workout using heavy leg weights, the students with the lowest stress levels had regained 60 percent of their leg strength, whereas the high-stress students had regained only 38 percent”.

Another study found in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research shows that individuals dealing with high levels of stress actually felt more tired and sore a whole day after a workout, compared to those who did the same workout without the added stress load. Your body knows how to naturally heal itself after a workout, but this healing is greatly slowed down when your body has to deal with stress issues first.

Stress Leads to Injuries

It was said above that stress can lead to injuries in the gym due to poor motor control, but injuries can also happen for other stress-related reasons. Stress absorbs your attention and also keeps your muscles tense, instead of loose. Stress also increases anxiety, which may make it easy to rush through a workout and skip safety steps unintentionally. All of these factors contribute to higher risk of injuries for working out.

Stress Slows Weight Loss

One of the biggest frustrations among individuals is that they do not see weight loss results after eating right and working out. The problem could be underlying stress. Stress messes with your hormones and your sleep quality, and both of these things are important to the weight loss equation. Before you give up your healthy eating and workouts, try handling your stress to see better success on the scale.

With all of the negative effects of stress on exercise, it may seem better to skip working out altogether, but don’t be fooled. Working out is essential for a healthier lifestyle, but you need to learn how to workout without taking your chronic stress issues with you to the gym. Need help with stress management? The Joint… the chiropractic place might be able to help you out. Regular chiropractic care has helped individuals better manage stress, feel lighter, and reduce their risk of injuries.


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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Morten Skovgaard

This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.