The human body is an incredible, adaptable organism. With the right care, it can become a powerhouse fully equipped to fight the inevitable stress we all face. Without proper care our bodies fall victim to stress, which can provoke a damaging physical response and lessen your ability to be the best version of yourself.
Left unused to fight or flee like it was designed for, the stress hormone, cortisol, continues to circulate the body aimlessly. When this happens, you become hungrier and your levels of insulin and glucose spike, resulting in a host of other unwanted physical side effects — all from a little bit of stress.
This is not good for the body. Stress runs amuck at work and at home, so we asked our friend and expert on resiliency and human performance Jenny Evans if she could teach us a few things about stress and our bodies’ reaction to it. Because with a little awareness about how the body manages and reacts to stress, we then possess the choice to prepare for it.
Jenny, a certified exercise nutritionist, personal trainer, and fitness instructor, has a deep understanding of how the body works. Her awareness led her to design a lifestyle-friendly protocol to raise your resiliency and in turn combat stress, and she’s sharing it with us at our upcoming Hero Speaker Series event on Thursday, October 18.
Jenny graciously let us ask her some questions about stress, resiliency, and which exercise she’d choose to do for the rest of her life:
What led you to become Jenny Evans, certified exercise nutritionist, personal trainer, and fitness instructor?
I was getting certified as a fitness instructor (which for me was an extension of my dance background — I was not particularly athletic) and as I began to learn about how the body and brain work, I became incredibly curious and excited. When you expose the body and brain to the right stimuli, you can get them to adapt and change in amazing ways. I became obsessed with how to optimize human performance.
What is the biggest cause of stress today?
I would say speed. The pace of business and change is faster than ever before, same with communication and deadlines. And our personal lives aren’t much slower. In an effort to keep up we’re constantly multitasking and time traveling — thinking about what’s next. We’re constantly doing, and rarely being.
Is there a common misconception about resiliency training you’d like to clear up?
For most of us, there is no way to reduce or manage our stress. Your job is not going to start asking less of you, nor are your loved ones. Our only option is to build our resiliency to it: to expand our capacity to handle things effectively as well as to recover from stress more quickly and efficiently.
If you had to choose one exercise to do for the rest of your life, which would it be?
I’d hate to have to choose just one, but if you forced me to, I guess it would be yoga — especially as I age. It’s a great way to get your strength training, flexibility training and cardiovascular workout all in one, with the added bonus of getting you to flex your spiritual muscles as well!
What is your superpower?
Action. I GET SHIT DONE. But with every power comes its shadow side: I’m also very impatient. Just ask my wife.
What are you reading?
I know I’m late on this one, but The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. On the professional side, someone just sent me Sell Your Thoughts, and I’m excited to dig in to learn more.
What are you searching for?
I’ve been working hard on a daily journaling practice I call “Positivity Practice,” where I list all the things that are going well in my life — things that are working. It’s so easy for us to focus on what’s not working, what we don’t have, all the things society tells us we should be doing, and that makes me unhappy. So I guess I’m searching for contentment. My mantra as of late is “I am enough. I have enough. I have MORE THAN enough.”
Awareness is the first step to making change and improving your resiliency. Once you become aware, you are given the choice to take actions accordingly, bringing you closer to the best version of yourself.If you’re interested in learning lifestyle-friendly ways to raise your resiliency and combat stress, we invite you to join us on Thursday, October 18 for our Hero Speaker Series event featuring Jenny Evans. Purchase your tickets here.