My twins Lance and Erin came home from their first day at school yesterday.
Tie off, shirt hanging out, Lance flew at me wanting a scrap…..
Taking me by surprise a flurry of low blows followed!
I’d never seen him like this before!
Lance insisted his super powers and shield would protect him!
I soon settled the score and I won our wrestling match.
My play fight with Lance straight after his first day at school made me think how his response relates to peoples health.
And why do so many people put on weight so easily and have so many other health problems.
High blood pressure, diabetes etc.
For those of you who know Lance, he’s only 4 but a pretty physical lad, which I encourage.
He’s more primate than human.
Constantly climbing and hanging .
He even watches TV on his head sometimes and always fidgets.
Sitting down and concentrating doesn’t come naturally to him.
School is new and it’s more constrained than what he’s use to.
When Lance came charging through the door at me, he needed a physical outlet.
Now Lance loved school and I’m sure counting 1-10 didn’t stress him that much, but the change of environment probably did.
This wasn’t bad for him, aslong as he had that physical outlet.
Which is why kids have play time.
Stress can be good and bad. It has two branches.
The sympathetic and the parasympathetic, which are opposite .
The sympathetic helps us deal with stressful situations by initiating a ‘fight or flight’ reaction.
It’s designed to initiate a ‘physical response’.
When the danger has passed, the parasympathetic system takes over, decreasing heartbeat and relaxing blood vessels.
In healthy people, the two branches are balanced allowing them to relax.
We’ve all been there, stress in the office with work mates or bosses.
Sympathetic system kicks in and you want to kill them!
But you can’t wrestle your work mates or boss to the ground or use your super powers on them like Lance did to me.
Unfortunately too many people’s sympathetic systems stay on alert. Releasing blood sugars and raising blood pressure. Unable to relax enough to let the parasympathetic system take over.
Over time this can be a big contributor to weight gain.
Without sounding like a hippy your mind and body are linked whether you like it or not.
So what’s the solution?
Exercise is the number one quick fix, give the body that physical outlet it needs for the fight or flight response. Make sure you keep training on a regular basis. This will allow the calm to come in afterwards.
If you can, get out the office. Just going for a walk at lunch time can help bring on the parasympathetic system.
I’m off for a rematch with Lance.
Have a good evening.
Russell ‘Masked Mangler’ Pearcy
Russell Pearcy has been working as a health and fitness coach for over 25 years helping men and women who feel tired and washed up get back in shape. Russell has also draws upon his experience as an Ironman triathlete to help coach others through this life changing transformation.