Throughout our evolutionary development, our physical bodies have been primed to respond very resiliently to acute stressors. Short-term stress isn’t necessarily harmful to the body, as it can return to its homeostatic baseline quite well after the stressor has passed. However, the stress we experience in today’s world is hardly short term. Small and large stressors accumulate chronically over time and eventually the demand on our body becomes more than we can handle. Our adrenal glands release hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol to help our bodies adapt. Through chronic recurrent stress, levels of cortisol and epinephrine remain elevated leading to a host of conditions such as weight gain, arthritis, allergies and autoimmune conditions. Chronic stress can eventually lead to exhaustion, where conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and irritable bowel syndrome predominate.
Here are 5 things you can do to support your adrenal glands:
- Balance Blood Sugar – Eating regular meals high in protein & fiber and low in simple carbs and sugars helps keep your blood sugar balanced.
- Eliminate stimulants from your diet – Caffeine pushes your adrenal glands to release more adrenaline hormones. Try and reduce the amount of coffee, chocolate, alcohol and pop in your diet to help your adrenal glands recover.
- Exercise but not too much, and not too late in the evening – High intensity cardio exercise can further stress the adrenal glands when they are already depleted. Engaging in low intensity exercise and resistance training earlier in the day is best.
- Supplement with nutrients that support your adrenals – B vitamins (especially B5, B6 and B12), Vitamin C and magnesium are essential nutrients your adrenals require to produce their hormones efficiency. Herbs such as Rhodiola, Withania and Eleuthrococcus are adaptogenic herbs, which help increase your body’s resilience to stress. Discuss these herbs and supplements with a Naturopathic Doctor before you supplement.
- Practice mindfulness – Restorative yoga is a specific form of Yoga that helps your nervous system re-tune. It teaches your nervous system what it means to be in “parasympathetic state” also known as relaxation. It helps us tune in to our bodies and become at peace with our minds. Every Tuesday evenings at Cloud Care Clinics we offer a free Restorative Yoga Class. Everyone is welcome, so come and begin your journey towards a more balanced, energetic and happier you.