Some super simple tips on lowering cortisol.

OK, so after my last article I've had lots of responses from people asking for some points on how to actually lower their cortisol levels.

Previously we looked at signs that you could have high cortisol levels. Before I give you a few tips on how to reduce it, here's a quick reminder – cortisol is released in response to stresses in the body, its main roles are to suppress the immune system and raise blood sugar levels in preparation for fight or flight. .. so bearing these things in mind here they are:

Reduce caffeine – Caffeine increases the secretion of cortisol, that's why it keeps us going. ' On top of this, experiments have shown that the higher your body fat percentage the greater level of cortisol is released – its a viscous cycle.

Get some more sleep – Sleep is key to recovery, while you sleep your body is healing and detoxifying, importantly it is ridding your body of cortisol. If you're sleeping less than eight hours a night then you are already starting your day off with a dose of cortisol in your system. So get your head on your pillow before 10.30pm.

Understanding your stress – Finding an equal balance is important, stressed mind + stressed body = raised cortisol. If your mind is stressing about something then the last thing you want to do is add to that by following an intensive training program. Likewise, if you've just come from the gym the last thing you want to be doing is engaging your mind in a brain boggling Sudoku.

Meditate – Make a conscious effort to set a small portion of your day as for relaxation meditation or yoga.

Laugh – Laugh regularly and laugh hard. Laughing reduces cortisol as well as epinephrine (adrenaline). It also welcomes the release of endorphins – which gives you that feeling of a natural high. Hang out with some funny friends or family, watch a comedy, essentially just have fun.

Take Magnesium supplements – Magnesium is used by the body to detoxify cortisol. The majority of us are majorly deficient in magnesium, it is no coincidence then because we stay highly stressed out. Remembering that magnesium helps you into a relaxed state its best to be taken around bed time.

Go on a holiday – Anywhere that helps you to relax, it does not have to be to the Bahama's for two weeks, maybe a weekend away somewhere quiet where you can recharge your batteries. The point here is to disconnect from your working life and familiarizations that raise your cortisol levels.

Friends and family – Spend time with friends / family, people who you are close to, avoid conversations about work and keep everything as light-hearted as possible.

Change your training routine – If you are training 4 times a week or more for extended periods of time, your body is likely to be in a state of fight / flight. Try lowering the amount of time that you are training and ensuring that you get adequate rest between sessions. Train training smart – not hard!

So that's it.

There are many more out there, but give these a go and let me know how you get on!

Alexis Panayiotou
Health Coach at DaxMoy personal training studios