The Sunday Mail
Tatenda Musonza Body Makeover
Stress really is a silent killer. It hinders the immune system’s response mechanism and suppresses the digestive system.
Why not take on a stress taming diet that keeps you calm and in good health? Stress-related illnesses are on the rise with health experts suggesting that high blood pressure, heart disease, sleeping disorders, obesity, depression and headaches are all linked to stress.
There are a number of early warning signs that show when one is stressed out, these include nervousness, mental confusion, and lack of concentration, lethargy, irritability, migraines, headaches, anxiety and general fatigue.
You should tame stress before it gets out of control. Weapon number one is changing the way you respond to pressure. I have encountered people who experience signs of stress due to a nutritional deficit that causes the body stress.
A lack of iron in the body can cause a decreased flow of oxygen to the muscle tissue and the brain, which causes you to get tired easily, irritable and unable to concentrate.
Some people never seem to get stressed out, no matter what is put on their plate.
Choose anti-stress foods that are high in vitamins, fibre, anti-oxidants and minerals; your body needs these more than ever to function at its best.
They will not only boost your overall energy and help you to keep your cool, they’ll also counteract the damaging effects of stress on your body.
I recommend this doctor prescribed diet that includes the following foods:
1. Fish and chicken have magnesium which helps combat anxiety and reduces stress levels.
2. Vitamin B helps fight chronic and excessive stress. Vitamin B food sources include yeast, dried fruits, broccoli, sunflower seeds, lentils, peanuts, nuts and celery. These soothe the body and mind.
3. Water detoxifies and energises the body and helps clear toxin build-up.
4. Oranges: Studies suggest this vitamin can curb levels of stress hormones while strengthening the immune system.
5. Spinach; it helps you stock back-up on magnesium which busts anxiety-related stress.
What you should avoid
1. Fast food.
2. Artificially sweetened soft drinks.
3. Rich, sweet foods.
4. Ice cream.
5. Pastries and cookies.
6. Dishes with a lot of spices.
7. Alcohol in excess during meals.
What you should do when stressed
1. Take a warm bath or shower
2. Take long walks or do some gardening.
3. Put on soft music and create a relaxing atmosphere during meals.
4. Practise deep breathing techniques; they help calm the nerves.
Brisk walking is the best anti-stress exercise and reverses stress in the most responsive way.
If you do not have enough time for a walk, then you can practise a rapid burst of exercises such as push-ups, planks, swimming or stair climbing.
Your walking plan this week is meant to confuse your muscle memory; your body will now be getting used to your walking pattern.
Monday, Wednesday and Friday: Find a sturdy chair of reasonable height, lean it against the wall, step with care as your muscles tire, step up and down the chair 15 times, rest for 15 seconds and repeat again. (Total exercise time 15 minutes)
Tuesday, Thursday: Walk at an easy pace of five minutes, do so briskly for ten minutes and then jog for two minutes. Repeat sequence. (Total time 34 minutes)
Saturday and Sunday: Rest
Tatenda Musonza is a personal trainer and a wellness coach and runs a body makeover course, he can be reached on [email protected]