Luke Coutinho speaks about life post pandemic and how stress affects men and women differently

Kill the stress
Pics by: Vinay Madapu
Pics by: Vinay Madapu

Body and mind are interlinked. Just imagine — lips turning blue, skin pale, and heart take a slow pause, the immediate response of the body is high blood pressure, sweating and perhaps palpitations. Similarly, when the body is under stress (due to overwork), the mind helps release more coping hormones — when these hormones get released in excess, it becomes chronic stress and the body becomes a haven to a host of diseases. 

According to integrative lifestyle medicine expert and life coach Luke Coutinho, who addressed the gathering of women entrepreneurs organised by FLO Hyderabad Chapter at The Park, Somajiguda on Monday, “Chronic stress, leads to the body releasing stress hormone cortisol (hormone) in excess. Cortisol is helpful when released in limit, because it is the hormone responsible for fight or flight response, which is innate to our being. But, when released in excess, can make our immune systems fail, or worse, it can make our immune systems attack our bodies.”

He highlights the facts on how stress affects men and women differently and says, “Excessive cortisol can affect all the other hormones in the body. High levels of estrogen in women can put them at a higher risk. For example, elevated estrogen levels are a risk factor for breast cancer and ovarian cancer. While in men, estrogen accumulates in the abdomen and leads to belly pods.” 

 The life coach stressed that stress is a perception, and it depends on how one sees it, and how one deals with the problem. “For some people, deadlines are exciting. They can be more productive and efficient. Whereas, others might freak out when near the deadline. Similarly, the pandemic was stressful for some people, while many took it as an opportunity to grow in life.” 

When asked about hair fall, Luke said, “Hair fall is one of the side-effects of the Covid-19 vaccine. It happens when vitamin levels are not balanced when administered with the vaccine. The vaccine is also linked with irregular menstruation cycles and blood clots. If the side effects continue, it is better to see a doctor.” 

Post pandemic, we see that many got obsessive about exercising and doing it quite rigorously. “It is better that we ease into exercising slowly and not hop into it rigorously. Any exercise that develops flexibility, mobility, strength, endurance and weight-bearing is good. But yoga is ideal as it offers everything. He suggested that women should stop following the trends like, pilates, running, swimming. Movement is more important than exercise, he said. Further adding about body’s nutrition needs, he said, “Our body needs good fats, vegetables, fruits and nuts.

Everyone feels that fruits are healthy and take on a huge fruit platter. This is wrong. Instead, have one or two fruits in a day in intervals. Seasonal vegetables and fruits must be had as they prepare one for the next season. Even the grains we get in markets are mostly not organic and are highly processed like wheat flour.” According to Luke, wood-pressed oils are better than refined oils. “I urge the audience to listen to what your body says and eat only what your body agrees to,” he concludes.

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