While something as serious as a Cushing’s disease diagnosis requires a doctor’s treatment, general health issues due to stress can be corrected with lifestyle changes. Diets, exercise, sleep routines all need to be looked into to see what changes are needed to reduce the high cortisol levels.
1. Anti-inflammatory diet
An anti-inflammatory diet which is low in processed foods while being high in essential nutrients, high fiber foods and antioxidants helps balance the hormones and fight food cravings. The diet should also be a low-glycemic one with proteins and healthy fats at every mealtime. Fresh fruits and vegetables provide the necessary phytonutrients while probiotics like yogurt and kefir provide vital good bacteria for the gut.
2. Meditation & Practicing mindfulness
Practicing mindfulness can promote relaxation by turning off the stress response. Healing prayers, meditation or simply focusing on deep breathing exercises bolster the immune system while improving both brain and heart health. This helps turn down the sympathetic nervous system and activate the parasympathetic nervous system which kicks in the body’s natural relaxation response.
3. Avoid Overtraining
The tendency to overtrain can cause high cortisol levels and this also reduces the blood flow to the gut considerably. Regular training sessions at moderate intensity for 30 minutes to an hour everyday is great for lowering lowering cortisol levels and for normalising metabolic functions such as blood sugar levels. The key is to avoid overexerting or overtraining.
4. Spending time outdoors
Spending time outdoors, in nature is also a well-documented way for lowering high cortisol levels. Walking in the park, gardening, spending time at a beach and walking barefoot on the sand are some ways to promote relaxation. Practicing martial art moves, poised under a leafy tree or barefoot on a rocky beach with the breeze ruffling the hair – isn’t that the classic image of a martial artist. Being outdoor and in tune with nature is vital for achieving harmony within and around oneself as a martial artist.
The right lifestyle changes will help martial artists lose unwanted pounds, attain a healthy weight, improve their metabolism and sleep better at night.