Have you ever been working so hard you think your eyes are bleeding? You know, when the stress has you like our friend below.
Or you feel your grey hairs creeping in at that instant?
Wondering how you can sustain this pace for one more day?
These thoughts popped into my head a couple weeks ago.
Waking up at 4am just to get a couple hours of work done at my computer before
my morning clients, and then getting home to do it all again. Sandwich some
networking events, my public speaking group, and a speaking engagement in there
and you have now made yourself a beautiful shit sandwich.
It doesn’t matter how passionate you are about your job; burn out is real. They even
have a name for it in Japan: Karoshi. Karoshi means “death from overwork.”
Looking back at my steps from that week, I walked an average of 3,500 steps. And, I
only worked out twice.
Obviously, this alone could make me fat, and nobody likes a fat trainer.
I finally understood when clients or prospective clients couldn’t commit to training
because their plate was too full. I felt like if one more than was to go wrong I would
just lose my mind. I felt on edge, irritable, and anxious. I felt like if I were to train
hard at the same time, it would just be too much for me to balance.
“I’ll just wait until I don’t have as much work to do.”
This is THE WORST excuse I have made to not exercise. The reason why may
A friend of mine just pointed me over to the Headington Institute. They do
workshops for emergency responders and support for staff in high risk
environments. They basically train you and your staff to keep your cool in trauma or
high crisis situations.
Dr. Rick Williamson from the Headington Institute trains people how to address
stress and burn out.
We do need stress in our lives, because with too little of stress there is no challenge
to get better and grow. However, too much stress elicits a negative hormonal
reaction and mental reaction, leading to burn out.
Sometimes are plate is too full, and there’s really nothing we can do about it. And it
seems if we add anything to our plate, we will just burn out.
However, it’s quite the opposite with exercise. Dr. Williamson preaches intense
exercise for 2 reasons:
1. It takes your cortisol (stress hormone) levels back to base line. Cortisol directs
energy away from non-essential parts of the human body, and it also correlated with
high abdominal fat.
2. It takes your perceived rate of stress down. Therefore you can do the same
amount of work and not have a high stress response from it.
Williamson recommends 20-30 minutes daily of physical activity, and the more
intense the better.
When you perform functional strength training, your cortisol levels go way down.
This takes you out of the risk of:
– Decreased immune system
– Increased inflammation
– Decreased white blood cells
– Increased risk of disease
– Increased risk of cancer
An interesting study came out with the stress response to mice. What they found,
was the more stressed out the mouse, the smaller brain cells with smaller branch
Another interesting study on monkeys showed that more stressed monkeys had
increased plaque in their arteries.
Functional strength training also increases oxytocin. Oxytocin is sometimes referred
to as the “cuddle hormone” because it comes from positive social interaction and
while caring for others.
If you’re like me and think you have too much on your plate, you probably are right.
However, adding exercise won’t tip you over the edge, it will actually save your life
AND from unwanted weight gain.