We all know that stress can be managed beautifully by exercise. After a long, tough day at the office, it can feel great to run it out on a treadmill and let the sweat wash away the stress. However, there is a bit of a catch that recent research has discovered. Chronic stress may interfere with the body’s ability to recover from exercise. Your workouts could leave you feeling extra sore and tired if you are under a lot of stress, and this could lead to injuries.
There are two types of stress, perceived stress and life event stress.
- Perceived stress is a subjective measure of how a person experiences stress.
- Life event stress is objective; it is not how stress feels, it is what it involves. Life event stress may come from moving, losing a job or a new job, divorce or marriage, or the loss of a loved one.
Researchers conducted a study that included subjects with high and low stress levels. After the participants had completed a tiring strength workout, (imagine P90x after a shot of espresso) the researchers measured their recovery for four consecutive days in fatigue, soreness, and perceived energy.
The participants with high perceived and life event stress were not able to recover as fast as those with little stress. Even more interesting, the participants that had high life event stress had more fatigue and soreness than just perceived stress.
So, what does this research mean for you? It means you should pay attention to your stress levels and adjust your exercise accordingly. When the body is struggling with an enormous amount of stress, even if it’s good stress, exercise can lead to physical overload and injuries.
If you are experiencing stress in your life, whether it be a new job or a bitter divorce, be prepared to add extra recovery time to your exercises. Don’t skip exercise altogether, but listen to your body, and give yourself an extra day or two between workouts to allow yourself full recovery and avoid injury.
Fort Worth Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Michael Boothby is a highly respected member of the orthopedic community. Dr. Boothby is Board Certified and Medical Director of The Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Institute. Dr. Boothby has been named Top10MD for thee years in a row. Only 1 in 3 doctors succeeds with this recognition in the United States. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Boothby link to his profile or call 817-529-1900 today.