Anything that drains you of your resources—even if it’s a wonderful thing like a wedding, a race, or a vacation—can elevate stress hormones. It’s the body’s way of trying to find the energy it needs to meet the new demands, explains Heidi Hanna, Ph.D., San Diego-based executive director of the American Institute of Stress. But, even stress from positive sources can become chronic, and if left untreated it can lead to inflammation, unstable blood sugar, and dips in mood.
Stress isn’t a reason to pass up on life’s happy happenings, though. The body is designed to deal with it—“you simply need time to recover so you can exert again in a smart way and at your best,” says Alicia Clark, Psy.D., a psychologist in Washington, D.C. To take control, on weeks where you’ve scheduled a few fun evenings out, arrange meetings in the afternoon to give yourself room to breathe in the morning. If you pushed yourself toward a challenging goal, build in extra time for sleep and make sure your fridge is filled with foods that refuel. “Planning for the effects of stress can help you better mitigate them,” Clark says
Equinox+ Pilates instructor Khaleah London says two-a-day workouts are ramping up in popularity. She’s all for the trend—so long as your workouts complement one another. “Pilates or yoga can be a great compliment to an intense HIIT or strength workout,” London says. The key is listening to your body to be sure you’re not overtraining—and that you’re getting enough low-intensity recovery for every high-intensity push.
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