Are you not seeing results from your fitness regime? That’s because you are not letting your body do its thing. While you workout, there is an increase in your sweat levels, but it also spikes our blood cortisol, which is known as the stress hormone.
What’s been shown in many studies is that prolonged periods of elevated cortisol levels can increase fat storage, especially around the waist. Think of flight or fight response*, if you are threatened, your body will first shut down the digestive system and reproductive system. That makes it very hard for you to absorb food, digest, and use as energy. The same thing happens when you workout, and your blood cortisol level increases.
Stretching, foam rolling, ball exercise, pilates, or yoga exercise will tap into your parasympathetic nervous system (known as rest and digest system), and this will lower the cortisol down.
That means that including more restorative activities into your training can lead to several changes, including less body fat, a smaller waist, and, ultimately, a leaner body.
*Flight or fight response – the acute stress response, refers to a physiological reaction that occurs in the presence of something terrifying, either mentally or physically. (Definition from https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-the-fight-or-flight-response-2795194)