How does physical stress impact health?

Physical stress can impact your health in a variety of ways. Today we will be looking at two main areas of physical stress which are exercise and recovery and how they are integral to health and fitness as a whole.

Finding a balance

In life we are trying to strive for a balance or harmony between thinking, moving and eating surrounding our overall health. Once one of these aspects falls out of balance we can consequently fall into "ill" health, whether that be an injury or sickness. As noted, the two main elements we are focusing on is exercise and recovery. People often don't realise that exercise is a physical stress to the body; it's there to break your body down. Recovery, on the other hand, is there to build your body back up. Therefore, we need to try and maintain a balance between the two.

If we put too much focus on either exercise or recovery, our overall health becomes imbalanced. For example, too much exercise without enough recovery increases our risk of injury and too much recovery with little to no exercise increases our risk of injury because our bodies are no longer resilient. For instance, if you trip and fall down the stairs, you could be at a higher risk of breaking bones or injuring yourself.

Maintaining the balancing act

It's essentially a balancing act. Consider a seesaw of good health as having exercise on one side, such as weight training, resistance exercises or cardio workouts, and recovery on the other, whether that's in the form of stretching or massage, as well as good nutrition and sleep etc.

You need to find the balance of doing enough exercise whilst maintaining enough recovery to ensure your overall health is in check. This results in fewer full "swings" of the metaphorical seesaw. In actual fact, a good balancing act should only see the subtlest of swings, moving less than a quarter of the way each time from being active to recovery and back again, rather than large fluctuations which could impact our health negatively. It's once we achieve this balance we allow our body to adapt to any stresses, helping it to become stronger and build resistance. This is important for our everyday life functioning. It's going to help us build towards better health.

To summarise, physical stress can impact your health in a good way if you balance it with recovery, or have a negative effect if we find ourselves imbalanced. To find further information on this topic and see the seesaw analogy in action, check out my informative YouTube video.

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