In small doses, stress isn’t a terrible thing. It is your body’s way of preparing to fight or flee a perceived danger. The stress response kicks in and the hormones cortisol and epinephrine flow. Your mind becomes hyper-alert, and your breathing rate and blood pressure spike. Once your brain senses that things are OK and you’re not in danger, things return to normal.
When acute stress becomes chronic and prolonged, cortisol levels get stuck on high, and your body, heart, and mind never fully relax. This kind of chronic stress increases your risk of heart disease, depresses your immune system and mood, and causes headaches, back pain, breakouts, and weight gain or loss. Stress-related weight gain due to cortisol overload causes belly fat.
Exercise will burn off the belly fat AND reduce the stress overload that leads to belly pooch. Even 10 minutes of any brisk exercise can make a difference.