Over time, life can take a serious toll on your body. The process can be so gradual that you might not realize it right away, and the effects can manifest in many different ways. If you’re feeling less productive in daily life, having trouble sleeping or putting up with constant headaches, you might think you’re sick. It could just be time and stress taking place, and the effects can wear your body down in various ways.
1. Tense Muscles
Life involves a lot of stress, and this is a mix of acute periods and long-term chronic stress. As it all adds up, the muscles throughout your body will begin to feel tense. Initially, this response is good because it’s how your body protects itself from pain and injury. However, that’s assuming your muscles get back to a relaxed state once the cause of your stress has passed. Chronic stress will continually keep your muscles in a guarded state, and this will trigger other physical reactions. They include head, neck, and shoulder tension that might trigger headaches and even migraines.
You might walk over 100,000 miles during the course of your life. That requires strength and stability in your feet and ankles. The impact of walking and running takes place every day, all day, every week. For many people, this can result in foot and ankle injuries at some point or another. More than 95% of all foot and ankle pain heals itself with enough time, but for the most serious injuries, foot or ankle surgery may be necessary. Fortunately, treatment options and the technology involved with these have come a long way in recent decades.
3. Respiratory Matters
It can get harder to breathe with time. Part of that might just be getting old or out of shape, but it could also be stress adding up over the years. Acute stress events, such as someone you love dying, divorce, or losing a job, might trigger breathing difficulties due to constricted airways between your nose and lungs. Stress might also result in hyperventilation, where rapid breathing can manifest into a panic attack.
4. Increasing Weight
Some people are able to manage their weight with the right balance of diet and exercise. However, many aren’t. Over 30% of Americans are obese, and more than 60% are overweight. If you weigh more than is considered healthy, you’re certainly not alone in your struggles. Modern lifestyle and eating patterns factor into this significantly as society has shifted away from active professions like farm and factory work. Instead, a large majority of Americans commute to offices or work remotely from home. With this lack of movement, digestion isn’t as efficient. This, coupled with a diet high in sugar and fat, can result in metabolic syndrome and other consequences.
5. Gastrointestintal Distress
Life can seem like too much sometimes, and the stress with that might make you eat more than you otherwise would. It could also make you eat less than you normally do. Neither case is particularly healthy. Acid reflux and heartburn can happen, or you might experience stomach nausea, butterflies, and pain. Serious stress can lead to constipation, diarrhea, or vomiting. Chronic stress might even lead to severe stomach pain and ulcers.
6. Sitting Idly
One of the factors in a sedentary lifestyle involves the dangers of sitting. Human bodies are meant to stand upright, and your heart and blood vessels work better when you do. Upright positioning also helps your bowel function. In fact, hospital patients who are bedridden often wind up experiencing issues with bowel functions. Alternatively, physically active people might have better endurance, higher energy levels, and stronger bones. Fortunately, you don’t have to become a serious athlete to counter a sedentary lifestyle. Regular exercise goes a long way.
When thinking about your physical health, stress levels, and the various symptoms you might be having, be sure to categorize them appropriately. Many of these might be chronic and should be a reason for a visit to your family physician. However, even acute symptoms, such as shortness of breath and mild chest pain, can indicate a more serious condition. To combat the many ways in which life takes a toll on our bodies, be sure to manage stress levels, eat well, and get active. Your body and mind will thank you!