As we navigate the midlife years, it’s easy to feel like many of the changes we go through are out of our control. Now more than ever we need to take a look at our habits and lifestyles and do what we can to protect our hearts, our brains, and our bones.
Though evidence is overwhelming that an anti-inflammatory diet and regular exercise can do wonders for our health, we wanted to bring your attention today to an equally important piece of the picture that is often neglected . . . STRESS management .
We can’t emphasis this enough – chronic stress is really damaging to the body.
It has been found to directly increase inflammation, which raises blood pressure and blood sugars. These are two known risk factors for heart disease, which is the leading cause of death for women in the US (1 in 5). Yikes.
Stress can also affect your sleep and eating choices too, usually not for the better.
In addition, after menopause, our hormones move from being created in the ovaries to being produced in the adrenal glands. This puts a pretty high demand on our adrenals, which are a critical piece of our stress response.
Keep in mind that our adrenals already have a heavy workload, including:
• production of androgen hormones (i.e. testosterone) and cortisol
• controlling blood sugar
• promoting proper cardiovascular function
• properly utilizing carbohydrates and fats
• distributing stored fat
• promoting healthy gastrointestinal functions
We like to compare this to when companies downsize and expect a smaller staff to carry the entire workload!
That’s why we always address stress when working with our clients. Though we employ many strategies, one of our favorite tools you can start using right away is meditation.
Meditation is an incredibly effective, simple, PROVEN way to reduce stress in the body.
Just check out this recent study (one of many), published in the American Journal of Cardiology. It revealed that meditation had a significantly positive impact on reducing the risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, stroke, AND coronary artery disease.
In fact, the American Heart Association endorses meditation to help lower the risk of heart disease. That’s powerful.
How about some more good news? If you’re dealing with stress and struggling with losing weight, meditation can help this too.
That’s because not only can meditation help control stress eating, it can also reduce cortisol levels in the body, which will reduce blood pressure AND belly weight.
So if you don’t already, it’s time to bring meditation into your day. Even starting with 5 minutes a day can make a big difference (there goes the “I don’t have time” excuse 😖).
If meditation is not on your radar, this is your wake up call ⏰ that it absolutely should be!
Need a little head start?
Let us know – do you meditate? If so, how has it changed your life?
Jane and Stephanie help women over 50 create sustainable healthy eating habits so they can feel empowered heading into retirement. Their 3-pronged approach, which can fit into any lifestyle, encompasses not only wholesome energizing foods but powerful habit and mindset shifts.