Pillar Points to Remember…(Stress, Cortisol, Burnout, Overtraining)

Dr. Shawn Talbott (Ph.D., CNS, LDN, FACSM, FACN, FAIS) has gone from triathlon struggler to gut-brain guru! With a Ph.D. in Nutritional Biochemistry, he's on a mission to boost everyday human performance through the power of natural solutions and the gut-brain axis.

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Here’s another excerpt from my 10th book, The Secret of Vigor – How to Overcome Burnout, Restore Biochemical Balance and Reclaim Your Natural Energy

Some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions every year are:
*Lose Weight
*Get in Shape
*Reduce Stress
*Get Healthier
*Win the Lottery

The Secret of Vigor can help you with 4 out of 5 of the most popular resolution goals, so I’ll be posting excerpts from the book for the next several weeks – so please stay tuned for each installment.

If you simply can’t wait, then you can certainly get a copy at http://amzn.to/1eju3wu or at your favorite library or bookstore.

Pillar Points to Remember…(Stress, Cortisol, Burnout, Overtraining)
I hope that these four chapters in Part II have given you an appreciation of the importance of restoring biochemical balance within each—and between each—of the Four Pillars of Health. In some ways, it may seem that balancing stress hormones is the most important task in restoring vigor, because these hormones are the “master controllers” of your biochemistry. But, as stated throughout this book, the pillars are interdependent and intertwined with each other, so it makes sense to strengthen all of them simultaneously to create a truly comprehensive approach to optimal health. As with the example of the dominoes, if you make a positive change regarding one of the pillars, you will set off positive reactions in all the rest.

The Pillars in Action (Burnout and Overtraining)
Michael was a lawyer and runner who Balanced Stress Hormones to beat burnout and overtraining. As an attorney specializing in intellectual-property issues (patents, trademarks, etc.), Michael worked extremely long hours at his desk, reading papers and working on his computer. He used running as his mental and physical “release” from the stresses of the day—it gave him some time to think about creative solutions to his clients’ issues.

As a former All-American cross-country runner in college, Michael remained highly competitive in his postcollege years and was training for an attempt at the Olympic Trials for the marathon. Unfortunately, due to the combination of the psychological stress from Michael’s highly stressful career (which had become even more so due to layoffs at his law firm) and a significant increase in physical stress from his increased training load for the Olympic Trials, Michael quickly found himself having trouble concentrating at work and unmotivated to lace up his running shoes to train.

After visiting his chiropractor for some help with a slow-healing hip injury, Michael was told that his cortisol was high and his testosterone was low—and that this biochemical imbalance was likely at the root of his lack of motivation for work or running.

On his chiropractor’s advice, Michael incorporated a few simple Vigor Improvement Practices to help balance his stress hormones and lead him away from burnout and back to vigor. In addition to striving for eight hours of sleep each night, especially on his hardest running days, Michael became more attuned to balancing high-stress workdays with moderate-stress training days and moderate-stress workdays with high-stress training days. As a lawyer working toward a partnership and as an Olympic hopeful, Michael typically had no “low-stress” days, but to help beat his burnout, he also agreed to have one “no-stress” day per week where he was completely “off” from work and training. In addition to these steps, Michael also added a daily eurycoma root supplement to directly restore balance between cortisol/testosterone.

Within a period of about six months, Michael improved his cortisol/testosterone balance by 30 percent and improved his Vigor Index from an extremely low level (27, associated with extreme burnout) to a very high level (4, associated with optimal physical and mental performance). His life improved—with Michael benefitting from improved mental clarity to get more work done with less stress (he made partner) and also from improved physical/mental energy, which allowed him to train and compete at a higher level (he did not qualify for the Olympic Games, but he ran a personal-best marathon time).

About the Author

Exercise physiologist (MS, UMass Amherst) and Nutritional Biochemist (PhD, Rutgers) who studies how lifestyle influences our biochemistry, psychology and behavior - which kind of makes me a "Psycho-Nutritionist"?!?!

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