PHYSICAL EXERCISE, NUTRITION, AND STRESS
A SOUND MIND IN A SOUND BODY-JUVENAL
BY DEANA SHENOUDA
One of the most telling signs of stress in America is being overweight.
Americans eat a lot more and exercise a lot less. Our lives have become
rapidly paced, so our lifestyles have changed dramatically. With these
dramatic changes comes various health problems such as:
▪ Man stress related illnesses
There is no quick fix for optimal health, but there are physical exercise
and healthy eating habits.
PHYSICAL EXERCISE AND STRESS
*AN INCREASE IN HEART RATE AND BLOOD PRESSURE REDISTRIBUTES BLOOD
FROM THE ABDOMINAL REGION TO THE LARGE MUSCLE GROUPS
*THE RELEASE OF CATECHOLAMINE'S AND STRESS HORMONES ACTIVATES THE PROCESS FOR METABOLISM
OF FATS AND CARBOHYDRATES AND THESE REMAIN ELEVATED LONG ENOUGH TO ENSURE THAT MUSCLES
HAVE ADEQUATE ENERGY FOR CONTRACTION.
*EXERCISE PROLONGS THE STRESS RESPONSE WHILE IN MOTION, AND WHEN PHYSICAL ACTIVITY STOPS,
THE BODY RETURNS TO HOMEOSTASIS. IN A WELL TRAINED PERSON, THERE RATE OF RETURN IS QUICKER.
THE BODIES NATURAL INCLINATION IS WHEN ITS CONFRONTED WITH STRESS, IS TO MOVE, BE ACTIVE, OR
EXERCISE. REMAINING INACTIVE PUTS A LARGE AMOUNT OF STRAIN ON INTERNAL SYSTEMS.
*WHEN THE BODY STAYS STILL, VARIOUS ORGANS GO INTO METABOLIC OVERDRIVE.
TYPES OF PHYSICAL EXERCISE
Six Components of Fitness
▪ Cardiovascular endurance
▪ Muscular strength and endurance
*Cardiovascular Endurance-ability of the heart, lungs, and blood vessels to transport oxygenated
blood to the working muscles for energy metabolism
*Muscular Strength and Endurance-strength is the ability to exert maximal force against a resistance,
endurance is the ability to sustain repeated contractions over a prolonged period of time.
*Flexibility-the ability to use a muscle group throughout its entire range of motion
*Agility-maneuverability and cooperation of fine and gross motor movements
*Power-force times distance over time
*Balance-ability to maintain equilibrium in motion.
CATEGORIES TO PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
*ANAEROBIC-PHYSICAL MOTION INTENSE IN POWER AND STRENGTH AND SHORT IN DURATION,
ACTIVITY THAT IS POWERFUL AND QUICK AND DOESN’T LAST MORE THAN A FEW MINUTES, LIKE
*AEROBIC-RHYTHMIC PHYSICAL WORK USING A STEADY SUPPLY OF OXYGEN FOR A
CONTINUOUS PERIOD OF NOT LESS THAN 20 MINUTES, LIKE SWIMMING, RUNNING, CYCLING.
ANAEROBIC EXERCISE IS IMPORTANT FOR MUSCLE STRENGTH AND TONING, BUT A GOOD
EXERCISE PROGRAM SHOULD INCLUDE A BALANCE OF AEROBIC AND ANAEROBIC EXERCISE
ACTIVITIES TO STIMULATE CARDIOVASCULAR AND MUSCULOSKELETAL SYSTEMS.
FOUR CRITERIA MUST BE MET TO GET THE BENEFITS OF
▪ Frequency-Number of exercise sessions
per week. Minimum number is three.
▪ Intensity-Challenge places on a specific
physiological system involved in an
▪ Time-Duration, length of time involved in
one exercise session. Minimum duration
is to be 20-30 minutes.
▪ Type of Exercise-Walking, running,
swimming, or weight lifting
THIS IS THE ALL OR NONE PRINCIPLE
Meaning that without meeting all four
requirements, few, if any benefits will be
gained. It takes between 6 and 8 weeks
to see significant benefits in the body.
POSITIVE EFFECTS OF PHYSICAL EXERCISE:
Lowering resting heart rate, resting blood pressure, muscle tension, and
a host of other functions that help maintain or regain physiological
Exercise induces not only physiological changes, but various psychological
changes (e.g. Runner’s high) as well. Continuous physical exercise
produces both physiological homeostasis and mental homeostasis.
People who get regular exercise report higher levels of self esteem and
lower incidences of depression and anxiety.
Food provides necessary nutrients
to our body and provides
emotional pleasure to the mind.
Although the primary purpose of
food is as a source of nutrients,
many people use food as a means
to fill an emotional void created by
Cons of food is that it serves as a pacifier to calm nerves, a popular relaxation technique
is “comfort food”, eating as a coping technique is often abused.
We eat to celebrate, to relax, out of frustration and boredom, and to satisfy our hunger.
The biggest nutrition problem in the US is overconsumption. Food is high in fat and
simple sugars and empty calories tend to rob the body of essential nutrients.
Consequently, the body is operating under nutritional deficiency, not nutritional
The body is then stressed to maintain.
Because of global conditions of soil depletion, even a healthy diet is
considered deficient in the essential vitamins and minerals so that
supplementation is encourages.
A malnourished diet-one that is deficient in essential amino acids,
essential fats, vitamins, and minerals-is itself a stressor on the body.
Research has shown that some foods actually induce a state of stress.
Excess amounts of sugar, caffeine, salt, and foods poor in vitamins and
minerals weaken the body’s resistance to the stress response and may
ultimately make a person more vulnerable to disease and illness.
Not all supplements are created equal. Check to see that the processing does not
destroy what it is intended to promote. Taken in excess, supplements can do more harm
than good by inhibiting the proper digestion and absorption of essential nutrients.
Food you eat can either boost or suppress the immune system.
Food affects not only the physical body, but the mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects as well.
The concept of spiritual nutrition suggests eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains
that nurture the health of the seven primary chakras. In addition, spiritual nutrition suggests
ensuring a balance in all aspects of food, including the acid/base balance.
Chakras seven energy centers is believed to run from the top of the head to the base of the spine.
Each of the seven energy centers is associated with a color.
*red(base of spine)
▪ Psychological effects of food cravings-people tend to
gravitate towards food when feeling depressed or
▪ Eating disorders:
Anorexia: individual who restricts food intake and
starves herself. The issue of starvation is centered on
Bulimia: individual who runs through cycles of gorging
and then purging.
Overeating: excessive overeating may be a result of
many factors, including guilt, loneliness, or nervousness.
The use of food as a pacifier to calm the nerves becomes
ingrained in the daily lifestyle.
Are emotionally rather than
physiologically based, ranging from
bulimia and anorexia to overeating-all
of which have serious consequences if
Recommendations for healthy eating habits:
Change various aspects of your diet, including reducing or eliminating the consumption of
caffeine, refined sugar, sodium, and fats, to reduce the risk of stress-related problems.
*Eat a well balanced diet
*Eat a good breakfast and space meals evenly throughout the day
*Avoid or minimize the consumption of caffeine and sugar
*Eat a diet that provides adequate levels of vitamins and minerals that are potentially vulnerable
*Follow the US dietary guidelines which includes:
*Aim for a healthy weight
*Be physically active each day
*Let the MyPlate food guidance system guide your food choices
*Choose a variety of grains daily, especially whole grains
*Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables daily.
*Keep foods safe to eat.
*Choose a diet that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol and moderate in total fat.
*Choose beverages and foods to moderate your intake of sugars.
*Choose and prepare foods with less salt.
*If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderations
▪ Exercise at least 3 times a week
▪ Eat a well balanced diet including fresh fruits and vegetables
▪ Avoid Stress
Following a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise and eating healthy can reduce
stress and help you live a longer life.