rē•Vamp Your Workouts With Cortisol-Conscious Exercise

November 18, 2021 by re-spin

With fast-paced lifestyles a cultural norm, there is no shortage of the stress response; some of us navigate the world in seemingly permanent states of fight or flight. From balancing demanding careers and busy personal lives to navigating the uncertainty of unprecedented times, it’s easy to spend much of our time ‘doing’ instead of ‘being.’

While regular exercise might seem like more ‘doing,’ it really comes down to the type of exercise you opt for. This is especially true during periods of high stress, which the body responds to with a spike in cortisol (i.e., the ‘stress’ hormone that acts as an alarm system when we are in the midst of fight-or-flight moments). You might be inclined to hit the pavement and run — literally — from stress, but in reality, a practice that engages the parasympathetic state of relaxation would be more therapeutic. In moments like these, high-impact forms of exercise like running, CrossFit, jump rope, and burpees, can actually do more harm than good. This is especially true for those with chronically high cortisol levels, or if exercise goals include weight loss since cortisol is known to cause excessive weight gain.

In these instances, cortisol-conscious exercise is the answer — a way to rē•vamp your fitness regimens by syncing your workouts to the body’s needs.

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