Fight or flight


(fight or run – direct translation)

Yes, such alternative choice is made by our body on the psychophysiological level in a dangerous situation (in stress). 

Let’s define the terms.

Stress – our body’s pseudoreaction (the same in different situations) on the physiological or psychological impact, breaking its homeostasis (balance). Stress is also a corresponding condition of the nervous system.

Pseudoreaction (nonspecific response) — it means always the same. There are other such reactions:

— training reaction – as reply on threshold, quite small magnitude of the stimulus;

— reaction of activation – as reply on the different in quality, middle magnitude of the stimulus;

— over-activation – it’s a reaction, like a stress, which can be the basis for many of the pathological processes. In such moments (over-activation) our nervous and endocrine systems at first start working more harmoniously, but then they desynchronizing.

There are two types of stress: good, useful — eustress and negative — distress.

So when you run your parkour route, working at a good pace you can feel that your heart go faster and body begins to work cohesively – it’s an example of eustress.

Distress — destroys the body.  It occurs when your body can not handle the load (physical, chemical, and mental) and often occurs as a result of time-consuming loads. Most of our systems and functions such as physiological (heart rate, respiration, metabolism, etc.) and psychological (attention, mind control body, narrowing of consciousness, etc.) starting to come out of balance

There are two common misconceptions about stress:

1)      Stress — a result of external influences. This is not entirely true, stress can occur as in the physical as in the mental load.

2)      Stress — a physiological response. Stress (as a consequence of exposure) — first of all the physiological response and only then psychological.

In past reaction of «fight or flight» was responsible for our survival, helping us to use stored energy explosively. Now times have changed, but our body is slow to change, and this reaction has remained.

There are two hormones that are actively involved in this reaction — adrenaline and noradrenaline. Another misconception is that these hormones are opposites. But they’re just a little different effect on the body.

Adrenaline is more consistent with the reaction «Flight» (run), and norepinephrine with reaction  «Fight» (hit).

Interesting fact:

Adrenal glands of rabbit — very disturbing creature, produce mainly adrenaline, and adrenal glands of carnivorous animals, such as lions, — noradrenaline.


1)      Eustress — helps training by activating the body;

2)      If you have a lot of hard exercise (and we believe it is) — you have to watch that stress does not become a distress;

The reaction of «fight or flight» — our old program, although in today’s world, it can often help.