Hey guys! Hope you’re all having a beautiful day. Today I wanted to cover the very important topic of adrenal fatigue.
The adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys, and they produce fight or flight hormones like epinephrine (aka adrenaline), norepinephrine (aka noradrenaline). They also produce cortisol (a “stress” hormone that is great in balanced amounts), other hormones, and perform a host of very important tasks.
Our bodies were equipped with adrenal glands, among other reasons, to help us survive and react to scary situations, and to be awake and alert when needed. Whenever any stress is placed on the body or mind, your adrenal glands respond by releasing those fight or flight hormones.
In the past, when human beings were cave dwellers, these fight or flight hormones were crucial to survival. They would assist in running after dinner (hunting), or running from dangerous elements in a world stripped of air conditioning, grocery stores, and cars.
While our lives as human beings has completely changed since those prehistoric days, our biology has not. And while we have it easier in some ways than our “cave women” ancestors, it’s probable that life is more complicated and stressful in other ways.
Some stressors you might be familiar with:
- Packed schedules (one task after the other with no time for reflection)
- Marathon gym sessions
- Extreme dieting
- Stressful relationships
- Lack of sleep
Left unmanaged, the stressors of everyday life can build up, and eventually frazzle your adrenal glands. When you’re adrenals are exhausted, that is called “Adrenal Fatigue”.
In 1998 Dr. James L. Wilson coined the term “adrenal fatigue”. Many doctors and health advocates have worked to find out more about adrenal fatigue, but many other medical professionals don’t acknowledge adrenal fatigue as an actual condition.
While it may be completely anecdotal, I’ve found that the people who acknowledge the existence of adrenal fatigue emulate a picture of health and wisdom that I admire and aspire towards; Paul Chek & JJ. Virgin for example. Combine that with my personal experience with adrenal fatigue, as well as the fitness and figure competitor friends and acquaintances I’ve seen affected by it are enough to convince me.
FIXING THE PROBLEM
The key to healing adrenals is nourishing, deeply relaxing, and healing activities dispersed throughout your week. This should also be a learning experience for adding these things in as a regular part of life. The following should be considered body maintenance, just like flossing and showering.
Pick workouts that are challenging, yet fun and relaxing. Yoga is wonderful.
Also, pay attention during your workout. I’m all for very high intensity workouts, but while you’re healing your adrenal glands, take a semi leisurely pace during your workouts.
- Keeping workouts 45minutes or under
- Take at least one day off per week
- Consider brisk walks a form of cardio instead of marathon running sessions while resting your adrenals
- Try yoga as a main form or exercise while resting your adrenals
Sleep is the bread and butter of an adrenally sound lifestyle. Develop good sleep hygiene for superior results in every aspect of life.
- Switch from coffee to green tea
- Download the free app F.lux to eliminate blue light from your computer at night
- Be IN BED 30 minutes before your actual sleep time. If you need to fall asleep by 11:30, be in bed by 11:00
- Start wind down time at least 1 hour before bed. Dim the lights, read a book, meditate, etc.
Meditation sounds so woo-woo. I know. But for now, just consider it a warm bath for your brain. I am the last person on earth who would embrace “just sitting there”, but I was pleasantly surprised to find meditation to be far more than pointless navel gazing. It’s been a very powerful tool in reducing stress, mental clarity, creativity, enhanced energy, and even better sleep! I really think you’ll love it if you try it.
RESOURCES FOR HEALING YOUR ADRENALS
- Adrenal Fatigue by James L. Wilson
- Real Happiness by Sharon Salzberg is a very practical, easy way to start meditation.
- The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle teaches mindfulness techniques for being present, which helps reduce stress and increase productivity significantly.
- Adrenal Fatigue Questionnaire http://www.adrenalfatigue.org/take-the-adrenal-fatigue-quiz
- F.lux Software. Totally free software that will transform your sleep. If you do one thing today, download this app.
- For a deeper, more “woo woo” approach to meditation, OSHO has a plethora of mediation information and books on the topic. http://www.osho.com/meditate/getting-started
- My meditation playlist http://open.spotify.com/user/1274270052/playlist/50IsgVgr7r1aivHCT70OtR
Switch to green tea (Tazo, republic of tea, yogi tea)
Thank you for spending this time with me today!