Fitness Fact: How focused are you? Harvard University released a report last month in which they found people were distracted 47% of the time while engaging in vigorous physical or mental activities. The participants reported to be happier, and with an 89% lowered stress level, when doing things during which their mind didn’t wander. Examples of these things were group fitness classes, talking to a close friend or family member or having sex. When the body has a “break” from stress it increases metabolism by greatly reducing the amount of Cortisol the body can produce. Cortisol is a steroid hormone, more specifically a glucocorticoid, produced by the zona fasciculata of the adrenal gland. It is released in response to stress and a low level of blood glucocorticoids. Its primary functions are to increase blood sugar through glycogenolysis and suppress the immune system.