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Many adults are consumed by a constant go-go-go mentality. Between maintaining a full-time job, preparing healthy meals, dedicating a few evenings a week to the gym and finding time to socialize, you may begin to wonder where relaxation fits into the mix. All too often, this crucial element of well-being doesn’t make the cut on your list of things to do. As such, many people are swamped with feelings of anxiety and stress.
While it’s normal to be concerned or nervous about certain things, like a job interview or when you’re running late, you shouldn’t feel like this all the time. Confusing anxiety with normalcy can lead to the condition manifesting in other ways, such as the ones listed below. Here are five signs you may be too stressed:
Do you find yourself constantly reaching for pain relievers? According to the Mayo Clinic, headaches and muscle tension are common side effects of stress. If you experience these symptoms frequently, it may be a sign that you’re too overwhelmed. Of course, recurrent headaches can be related to other serious health concerns. Speak with your doctor about what you’re experiencing if relaxation techniques don’t help this chronic condition.
“Sleep deprivation can make stress worse.”
When you lay your head on your pillow, all those worries you’ve pushed to the back of your mind during the day seem to surface once again. Thinking about what you need to get done tomorrow is enough to keep anyone awake. A major problem with this common symptom of stress is that it elicits an endless cycle. Sleep deprivation can make stress worse, and anxiety can make it difficult to fall asleep.
Perhaps your productivity has decreased at work or you seem to easily lose your train of thought during conversations. Your worried mind may make it difficult to concentrate on the task at hand. Focusing issues related to stress can quickly turn daily activities into something dangerous. For example, if your mind wanders somewhere other than the road while you’re driving, you may put yourself at a higher risk for a collision. If you find it difficult to focus, it’s important to determine if this mental lapse is a result of your high stress level.
Everyone has days when they’re a little on edge. However, if you’re really stressed, you may be more prone to this issue. Stressful moments trigger the body’s “fight-or-flight” response, which involves a faster heartbeat and higher blood pressure, according to The American Institute of Stress. Those are the same physiological changes that occur when you’re angry, too. Plus, sleep deprivation and constant headaches would make anyone grumpy.
Many people with stress also suffer from gastrointestinal issues, which may involve constipation or diarrhea, according to the AIS. That fight-or-flight response can trigger changes in your digestive system, which can ultimately affect the frequency of bowel movements. Additionally, many people cope with stress through food, either by avoiding meals or overeating, both of which can cause stomach pain.
If you have experienced any of these stress warning signs, you may benefit from a massage. The Mayo Clinic listed relief from anxiety, digestive issues, headaches and stress-related insomnia as some of the many benefits of massage therapy. Schedule an appointment with a professional or use a personal massager for everyday relief. Use the device on tense muscles to relieve soreness or simply give yourself a relaxing back massage. Whatever you do, just be sure you make time to unwind in your busy schedule.
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Living a healthy lifestyle takes commitment and focus. It’s easy to be swayed off course by cravings, sweets cravings and fatty foods, but you know that these will deter you from your goals. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, enhance your endurance, run a marathon or get stronger, eating a balanced, nutritious diet is a must.
Even so, late night snacks are hard to resist sometimes, and if your stomach is rumbling before hitting the hay, you may reach to something quick and easy. Instead of just grabbing whatever is closest at hand, try these nighttime snacks that won’t derail your good eating habits:
Is your daily routine negatively impacted by that relentless ache in your lower back? Can you feel it throbbing for attention as you read this? You’re not alone. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, around 80% of adults suffer from lower back pain at some point in their life.
A century bike ride will take you 100 miles, and it will certainly test your mental and physical prowess. This may seem like a lofty goal, but it’s certainly an achievable one that many endurance cyclists aspire to complete.
Being able to bike 100 miles requires serious commitment, dedication, planning and training. Once you decide to take part in a century ride, you need to starting working at least eight weeks beforehand to prepare your mind and body for the challenge ahead. Your training program should consist of long and short rides as well as intervals of different speeds, resistance levels, terrain and hills. It’s also a good idea to cross training with weight lifting to strengthen your muscles and exercises such as Pilates that provide stretching and improve posture.
Another key component is nutrition. Your body won’t be able to last long if it is not being fueled properly. Even slight dehydration can completely zap your energy levels and cause sore musclesand cramps. If this does happen, giving your muscles a massage can help. Additionally, eating the right amount of carbohydrates and fats is needed to fuel your muscles and provide you with the nutrients to keep you going mile after mile. You’ll certainly want to pack snacks to stop and eat during your ride to replenish fuel sources, curb hunger pangs and boost energy. Remember not to pack any foods that are too heavy or hard to transport. A muffin may sound delicious, but it can be messy to eat. Also, be sure not to try any new foods in case it affects your stomach negatively and you have to stop mid-race.
Here are some tasty, helpful snack options to pack for your century ride: