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Is sport good against stress?

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You leave the office. You have not seen the day through! Since this morning you are under pressure: the sensitive files have accumulated ... and tensions with colleges have increased. Fortunately, now you have an appointment with yourself! An hour gym is the program! You will relax!

Stress, what is it?

Stress is the set of chemical reactions to adapt to a new situation. Each time a different problem arises in your work, you have to respond ... and you get stressed. The body releases in circulation stimulating hormones. These are essentially substances near the famous "adrenaline". To help the organization meet these constraints, the brain secretes painkillers products called "endorphins".

Stress, what is it?

The chemical mechanism of stress is not perfectly suited to our modern, sedentary life. Of course, this hormonal discharge awakens your intellectual abilities and helps you take the pressure but it also makes your blood pressure go up and overloading your blood sugar and fats. This process has especially helped the survival of our ancestors. When the Cro-Magnon man crossed a bear, he lived a stress! He had to adapt to this unexpected situation, it was essential to him to flee or fight! He must provide a strong effort ... stress would help it! His hormones were causing the acceleration of his heart and freed his energy, he could run or hit! The "endorphins" reduced his suffering, he was able to continue the fight despite the injury. He survived! His descendant will work in an office and to the gym!

Sport against stress, how it works?

You understood, stress is a reaction of the particularly suitable for exercise body. Also you easily conceive that sport can be considered a "stress consumer." It is as if hormones and calories released during the day were burned during the effort!

The drive also acts as a "stress appeaser." The body of avid practitioner takes the good habit to rest better during recovery periods. Basal stress hormone levels decrease. This is why trained athletes have a slower resting heart rate than sedentary.

Exercise is a true "coach stress." Through sport, you get your body to relieve stress hormones. So you assume more easily psychic tensions inherent in everyday life. Your stock stimulants is more important, you're less likely exhaustion and depression.
Physical exercise is a source of "well-being anti-stress". The "endorphins" produced the effort to help the body to bear the pain at rest leave a feeling of fullness. These hormones may partly justify the psychological addiction to physical activities.

Sport and particularly the competition can act as "stress control". Indeed, to get good results, you need a minimum of motivation. On the starting line, the brain a little anxious turns on and wakes, muscles and heart prepare and benefit from some hormonal stimulation. Without any stress, the body fails to take action and performance will be poor. If the pressure is excessive, brain activity becomes disordered and energy is squandered before the starter will start competing.

Beyond the chemical functioning of our body, sports harbors "psychological anti-stress" significant. Number of technical sports require concentration. That forced him to "change ideas." Often, the physical practice is part of a project. Do our best to complete it helps to disconnect from their daily worries. Finally, go to practice, it is often the opportunity to "see the world". If sport is the theme of this relationship, it can help to build strong friendships. Dialogues, confidence and emotional ties then help express and to release tension.


The "introverts" are those who cash without retaliating. They ruminate and fail to expel tensions. Often their body modestly expressed their impregnation in stress hormones and their discomfort. They frequently complain of headaches, abdominal pain, tightness in throat or spine pain. The "introverted" while benefiting fully sporting activities especially physical outlets. Collective and technical sports require to communicate and focus, they are welcome! Football or rugby may be recommended. However, swimming, biking or jogging allow too rehashing their worries.

The "outgoing" are those that explode at the slightest stress and unable to control himself. Their brains too easily express stress! They are running out. They suffer their colleagues and their family circle. The "outgoing" benefit greatly from a canalisante sport, soothing and regulator. Of course, energy expenditure helps to calm this personality type; the same solitary endurance efforts can be offered. The exercises and relaxation imposing gestural controls also seem appropriate. Then think golf or yoga. The ATV achieves an excellent balance between physical effort and technique.

Attention sport it is also a stress!

Now you have understood, the sport is good against stress ... because it causes the body stress! Sport is a real stress! It is a physiological stress! it causes the same hormonal secretions!

But physical activity is also a psychological stress. To fulfill your resolutions for weight control, to stick to your sporty image, you must go train regularly. Without your gym workout or cardio, you do not feel well! Sport is perhaps become your drugs. If you feel the need to practice; if you are uncomfortable without your regular effort, psychiatrists think that you become dependent!

Sport is a logistical and emotional stress. Often your Thursday night Step class is just another appointment in your busy schedule. Not to miss, the organization of your working day must be blameless. As you look at your watch early in the afternoon ... you are stressed! Sometimes, you feel encroaching on the time you could spend with your children and your family. You feel guilty and you stress!

If too restrictive physical activity is added to all the stresses of everyday life, it can make you switch to exhaustion. It is strange as signs of "overtraining" closely resemble those of depression. Reduced activity, impaired intellectual and physical performance, difficulty sleeping or eating, multiple bodily complaints or repeated injuries require medical attention.

What sport against stress!

Choose the activities that suit you! Indulge in training! Depending on your personality "introvert" and "extrovert" (see box) opt for a stress relief or relaxing sport. Diversify your sports practices so you never get bored but also to solicit your entire body.

Moderate your workout. Too hard, too long, too often and body fatigue. To fulfill the daily, it should increase the secretion by stimulating hormones. He is forced to increase your stress! Go for 3 workouts per week, 30 minutes to 1 hour, at an intensity corresponding to a very slight breathlessness.

Get organized loosely! If your daily schedule is very dense, to waive too far from your home business! Avoid collective training imposing rigid timetables. Make your jogging whenever you want. Subscribe to a room located close to home or enjoy your living room to do some gym listening to your favorite music.

Make time to indulge in other leisure! If your physical activity commandeers all your leisure, you live your sport as frustration, it will accentuate your stress!


Dr. Stéphane Cascua.
Editions Odile Jacob - 20.6 euros

In his book, Dr. Cascua, sports physician, answers this provocative question. He does not hesitate to reveal to you all the dangers of the sport: sudden death, stress fracture, arthrosis, etc. The whole body can suffer. Far from being pessimistic, you also expressed to all the benefits of exercise: prevention of heart attacks and osteoporosis, reductions in back pain, etc. Punctuated with anecdotes, full of practical advice, this book clearly explains how to get the best and avoid the worst. It guides you to the most appropriate physical activity for health, enjoyment and well-being.

Doctor Stéphane CASCUA. - 27 avril 2009.

Conflicts of interest: the author or authors have no conflicts of interest concerning the data published in this article.


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The Iroman lack of iron, the other sports too!

Doctor Stéphane CASCUA.

Iron is essential to your health and performance. It is a central component of hemoglobin. The latter is contained in red blood cells and gives it color. It is the iron that captures oxygen when blood passes through the lungs. It carries the precious gas to muscles. When they arrived, it drops its cargo which then allows the burning of energy substances and muscle contraction.

When you run or when you jump, your heels hit the ground and the fat pad of the foot of the plant is crushed. It is through many blood vessels. These red blood cells burst and release their hemoglobin. Iron is released into the blood and pass into urine.

Muscle contains a twin sister of hemoglobin, myoglobin. The latter also contains a lot of iron which sets some oxygen. This small local reserve allows starting the contraction before the blood vessels do not provide the necessary complement. When you experience aches, your muscle membranes are victims of micro-fissures. Myoglobin and iron leaves the muscle and gaining the blood. The precious metal is eliminated in the urine.

When you make an effort, the majority of blood flow is directed towards your muscles. There remains very little to the digestive tract and the bladder wall. These organs suffer from lack of oxygen and are shaken with every stride. Small areas are damaged and start to bleed. Red blood cells and iron are lost in the feces and in urine.

You enter the assiduous why athletes often lack iron, especially if they do not take care to concoct "menus and recipes" adapted. Sports are even more concerned since all these iron losses are added the massive elimination of blood during menstruation!

That is why it is good to occasionally perform a blood test to assess the stock in body iron. This levy is necessary when it comes to review a state of fatigue. It unnecessary to dose iron in the blood because the body is able to keep within the limits of normal while the reserves are at their lowest! It is necessary to measure levels of "serum ferritin" because this structure is the storage form of iron.

The bone is strengthened or crack in contact sports

Doctor Stéphane CASCUA.

Each sports movement constitutes a solicitation for the bone structure. At each reception process, the tibia runner undergoes vibratory impacts. Unrolling not, the hiker twists slightly small bone in his foot. Even the body-builders, powerfully contracting its muscles, pulls on his bone.

Each strain injures a little bone of sports. Fortunately, during the rest period, the bone trying to rebuild. If time allows, if they bring him the necessary food, it is repaired! It reconstructs even louder than before as if to prepare for new mechanical attacks. This phenomenon is called by coaches cycle decompensation / overcompensation. This process has been described in many body organs and functions: muscle, stock energy, hormones, etc. It is a key driver of growth.

Thus, it was shown that the well-trained marathoner had stronger bones than sedentary. Indeed, its more dense bone structure, higher in fiber and calcium. In addition, the microscopic architecture of the bone is perfectly oriented along the axis of mechanical stresses.

Indeed, the chemical structure of the bone is comparable to reinforced concrete. The protein network is the steel rods. Calcium is comparable to concrete mired these metal axes. At the hip and pelvis direction of the bone structure is very characteristic. On a radiograph, it is found that the fibers leave the femur, the thigh bone, tilt in, come from hip to withstand the weight of the body resting on the hips. The lines of force from the right leg and left leg meet in the middle of the basin and support each other in the manner of the nave of a church.

Physical activity associated with a sufficiently high protein diet, vitamin D and calcium is a great engine of bone construction. This cocktail is particularly useful to hinge periods of life. During growth, it is necessary to eat 4-5 dairy products every day to build strong bones. It should also move: it is essential to practice a sport requiring the running and jumping at least 3 times a week for 30 minutes. In the absence of impact, bones harden less. It has been shown that a young competitive swimmer had lower bone density than sedentary because he was deprived of gravity during those long hours of pool training. In addition, bone densification stops 25 years. At this age you have made up your bone capital for life!

In adulthood, sport reinforces very hard bone and the amount of calcium necessary for the maintenance of bone is still debated. In case of fracture, the rest of the broken area needed a few weeks to allow to "ensnare" the broken area. In addition, gradually increasing mechanical stress are indispensable to "mechanize" the callus. Again, they help to guide the fabric of the bone in the center of the constraints to prepare him for his mission. An increase in calcium intake in consolidation period is proposed by some doctors without that interest has been really shown.

After menopause, the bone structure is gradually degraded to make the brittle bones is osteoporosis. Ladies, remember, your resistance to hip fracture depends on your diet and your sport for 25 years! If physical activity after menopause can no longer denser bones, reduces the loss of bone tissue. So it is advisable to go see jumping around or jog. It is also good to make the soft gym to maintain bone strength to strength. To make the most of this stimulation, it is again necessary to take 4-5 dairy products daily. It should also go out every day to enjoy the sun and make the vitamin D essential for the absorption and calcium binding. Fresh coordinating sports such as Thai Chi or "balance workshops" have proven effective in reducing the risk of falls and fractures.

If the sporting activity is excessive, the micro-cracks caused by impacts on the bones fail to consolidate over the rest. Rather, these lesions worsen in the next workout. Finally the splits right through bone, it breaks without any violent trauma. It is the stress fracture. In a postmenopausal woman, it was demonstrated that 6 hours of sport load per week may be sufficient to break insidiously bones. Among younger adults, this type of injury is favored by dietary deficiencies and hormonal disorders. Lack of calcium, vitamin D and protein alters the rebuild bone victim of microcracks in the exercise. Insufficiency sex hormones reduces the stimulation microscopic chemical plants be responsible for the synthesis of bone tissue. Functional changes occur when the deep depletion of the body. That kind of burnout is most often diagnosed in women because it causes menstrual irregularities and a cessation of menses. The victim is found in a state of "early menopause". In humans this hormone suffering is more insidious but it exists and its effects on bone density are comparable. The sports overwork cocktail, dietary deficiencies and disappearance of rules typically found in young women anorexic. Faced with a stress fracture, the sports physician must remain vigilant. It should not simply treat a "bone". It has an obligation to support a whole person, he is responsible for seeking overtraining or behavioral disorders.

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