Most people know that too much stress can be bad for their health, but what about a little bit? As it turns out, the right amount of stress might actually be good for you. There is a type of stress called hormetic stressors, and this specific type of stress is actually healing for the body.
Stress…as a healer to the body? Stick with us.
Hormetic stressors are a type of stress that is not only good for the body but can also be one of the most effective ways to combat aging. It’s essential to understand this type of stress to take advantage of its benefits. This article will discuss what hormetic stressors are, how they work, and how you can use them in your daily life.
How is hormetic stress different from chronic stress?
Hormetic stressors are different from other types of stress. Most people know the adverse effects of chronic long-term stress, which include irritability, decreased mood, fatigue, digestive issues, and a plethora of other physical symptoms, but this type of hormetic stress can be very beneficial if it’s done for short periods or in low doses.
Hormesis occurs when an optimal stimulation level produces benefits by preventing disease and slowing down aging without any side effects.
There are many different types of hormetic stressors including the following:
- Cold exposure
- Sun exposure
- Altitude training
- Endurance training
- Red light therapy
- Breath training
- Weight training
- Sauna exposure
While these activities may be seen as uncomfortable, or even stressful, they all have amazing benefits on the body.
Hormetic stressors like aerobic exercise, heat shock proteins (HSP), sauna bathing, and even caloric restriction improve health and longevity by promoting antioxidants that fight against free radicals. Simply put, hormetic stressors help prevent aging while making your body stronger.
How to take advantage of hormetic stressors for your health.
Hormetic stress can be applied to almost every part of the body, including the brain, immune system, and heart. The best way to use hormesis is by finding the type of hormetic stressors that work best for your body and are ideal for your body’s preference or tolerance. No single method proves to be more effective than another when used correctly.
For example, some people are more sensitive to exercise, so they may benefit from exercising at higher intensity levels than others. For this reason, it’s crucial that you understand what works best for you and avoid doing something just because someone else tells you to or because it is trending on social media. What is trending in the health community online isn’t necessarily what your individual body needs, which is why a consultation for a full body analysis is crucial for your health journey so you can benchmark and track progress for your individual body’s data.
At Liv24 we use health stressors such as Cold Exposure and Red Light Therapy to dramatically reduce free radicals and improve overall health as well as aid in weight loss. These methods have been effective for our clients and are a great starting point to trying out hormetic stressors in a controlled and safe environment.
Hormetic stressors can be used together with other healthy lifestyle routines to boost your immune system further and prevent disease in the long term. However, they should not replace everyday exercise, proper nutrition, and quality sleep.
Benefits of hormetic stressors
When used properly, hormetic stressors have shown great promise in preventing disease and slowing down aging while improving the quality of life. Here are a few of the many benefits that various hormetic stressors can bring.
Fighting Diseases with Heat Therapy
The heat produced from sauna bathing promotes cognitive resilience similar to that found in caloric restriction diets which can help reduce your risk of developing dementia later on in life.
Heat shock proteins also help treat neurodegenerative disorders by promoting neuronal survival in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. This is due to their ability to reverse many different age-related problems that come along with this neurodegenerative disorder, such as tau tangles, neurite degeneration, synaptic loss, impaired neurotransmitter release, and mitochondrial dysfunction.
If you want these benefits, then make sure you get enough quality sleep because this is when most growth hormone secretions occur, making up for a large part of our regenerating abilities.
Reduce Cancer Risks with Cold Therapy
Cold therapy, such as ice bath or a process called Cold Thermogenesis done here at Liv24, can help reduce the risk of cancer by increasing cell death in over-proliferating cells, reducing tumor growth rates and increasing antioxidant levels to fight against free radicals throughout our body. This type of hormesis also improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, and decreases inflammation markers.
Hormetic Stressors Effects Use for Anti Aging
There have been some studies that have shown that animals exposed to hormetic stressors live longer than those who are not.
One study found that mice subjected to low-level radiation had a 40% increase in life expectancy, while another study showed an eight-fold improvement with the use of heat shock protein (HSP). Another example is a caloric restriction which has been shown to double or even triple average lifespan when appropriately used.
Considering our current environmental conditions in Western culture, largely sedentary lifestyles spent indoors with large portioned-meals several times a day, our bodies are a breeding ground for disease, obesity, premature aging, and cell mutation (cancer). Without hormetic stressors, we actively, although unknowingly, contribute to our own decline in health and longevity.
However, the intended use for hormesis is not as an anti-aging solution. Its primary purpose is disease prevention and improving overall health while aging naturally. Hormetic stress should only be applied for short periods or at low doses, making them safe alternatives for preventing chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease without severe side effects.
Animals, humans included, are not meant to live our lives in a safe bubble of a house without stress. Healthy stressors such as sun exposure from being outside, exercise, fasting, cold therapy, and red light therapy all contribute to a healthier life.
Our modern lifestyle is an anti-hormetic lifestyle. We try to seek comfort and avoid stress. However, to live a life of vitality and longevity, we need to tap into our ancestral health pathways to optimize our health.
Anyone looking to stay healthy should look into how hormetic stressors work for the body and know what types of stressors will benefit them most while avoiding anything that could cause adverse effects. For more information on how Hormetic Stressors can impact your life, visit us today.