Thursday, March 25, 2010

Pickleball Reduces Stress, improves health

Richard, Joyce, Bill, Gord, Shirley and Mike.

All four courts were busy with 18 regular players on Thursday afternoon. Four regular players showed up Thursday night, and about 16 new younger players ages about 16-35 years old all enjoyed rallying with each other. Mike and I taught four new players and they were happy to learn the rules and how to score in a game.

Two players told me that pickleball helps them reduce stress and clear the mind of the stress of everyday lives (work, responsibilities, tax returns etc.) Read more on how Stress affects your health

Cortisol. Stress and weight gain:
Stress can contribute to weight gain. Cortisol, a stress hormone is elevated in response to stress. Too much cortisol leads to weight gain.

Emotional Eating -- Increased levels of cortisol can not only make you crave unhealthy food, but excess nervous energy can often cause you to eat more than you normally would.

Too Busy to Exercise -- With all the demands on your schedule, exercise may be one of the last things on your to-do list.

Metabolism --Too much cortisol can slow your metabolism, causing more weight gain than you would normally experience. This also makes dieting more difficult.

Cravings -- OK, you're stressed. Do you reach for a nice salad or a pint of Ben & Jerry's? I'll bet on the latter. People experiencing chronic stress tend to crave more fatty, salty and sugary foods.

Blood Sugar -- A major trigger for food cravings is low blood sugar. Cravings can lead to binge eating and eating disorders.

Fat Storage -- Excessive stress affects where we tend to store fat. Higher levels of stress are linked to greater levels of abdominal fat.

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