I mentioned recently on my Facebook page the importance of relaxation and stress management for weight control. According to some researchers, stress can cause weight gain, partly due to the body’s hormonal response system.
Cortisol is a critical hormone with many actions in the body; it is also referred to as the “stress hormone” because excess cortisol is secreted during times of physical or psychological stress. Excess cortisol in the body can promote weight gain, and can even affect where we put on weight (some studies have shown that stress and elevated cortisol levels can cause fat accumulation in the abdominal area [the dangerous area] rather than the hips [the protective area]).
So the message is keep calm, stress free and chillax! Easier said than done, right? There are a number of things you can do to control stress levels and I guess it depends on you as an individual as to what method works best. I don’t think anyone could deny though, that a relaxing holiday can do wonders for your stress levels (until you get back and receive your credit card statement of course!), but unfortunately this therapeutic option is not necessarily feasible every time you are feeling a little under the weather. If only we could all pack our suitcase and jump on a plane at the drop of a hat when our boss, partner, kids or financial worries stress us out!
Anyway, I thought I would take the opportunity to share with you just a small selection of images – a mix of stunning architecture, imposing views, historical features and yummy food - from my recent holiday that made me forget about all the little stresses awaiting me at home.
|On board Royal Caribbean|
|One of the views from my stateroom|
|Views of Marseilles, France|
|Views of Genoa, Italy|
|Apparently Christopher Columbus' renovated home in Genoa, where he lived as a young boy|
|Views in Genoa - you know you're on holiday when you're sheltered by palm trees|
|La Rambla in Barcelona, Spain - just a few minutes walk away I bought this top from Zara|
|The Sagrada Família Church in Barcelona designed by architect Antoni Gaudi, and believe it or not, it's still under construction since building work commenced in the 19th century.|
|"La Seu" Cathedral of Palma|
|Views in Valldemossa, Mallorca|
|Valldemossa Village - could have easily sat here all day just people watching!|
|View from the cruise ship at Palma de Mallorca port|
|Valencia Cathedral, which sits at the heart of the old town of Valencia|
|Historical features in the Museum of Frederick Chopin, Mallorca - originally the monastery where composer and pianist Chopin lodged, but it has been turned in to a museum for our entertainment now. There's our tour guide in the background.|
|Historical features in the Museum of Frederick Chopin, Mallorca - one of the bedrooms in the monastery where the monks would have stayed|
|Romeo and Juliet dining room on board the ship|
|The breakfast I ate in the dining room most mornings: - nom nom nom - for a person that usually only eats Alpen for breakfast, this was a treat for me and I could never finish it!|
For my last night I wore one of my summer holiday wardrobe essentials: the Palazzo pants. These are from Matalan, and yes, I'm sporting my crop top....... again!