Stress is important to understand when it comes to overall fitness, depending on how your body copes with stress helps determine how capable the body is performing everyday tasks.
When the body is stressed it responds by producing stress hormones (the main one being cortisol), the hormones are produced so we can cope and survive the stress. When the body is not encountering stress, it is in a state of repair, and this is the time when we produce growth hormones (the main one being human growth hormone).
Ideally, we want an even part of our day when we are producing either stress or growth hormones, the body needs stress to grow but to much stress limits growth. Whenever we are producing stress hormones, the body is unable to produce growth hormones, and vice versa. The best time of day to produce stress hormones is when we awake, and for growth hormones when we are a sleep.
Alongside producing stress hormones the body also produces enzymes required to store fat (lipogentic), as the body is stressed it knows that storing fat betters its survival rate, as fat is high in energy.
The good news though, is when we produce growth hormones (lipolatic), the body produces an enzyme required for fat metabolism, as the body needs large amounts of fuel (fat) to repair itself. So, the more stressed we become the better the body is at storing fat, where the more the body recovers the more fat it utilises for fuel.
So the question is, how do we reduce the stress the body encounters on a daily basis? To answer that, we need to have a better understanding of the different types of stress, as well as, how the body copes with stress.