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    How Exercise Affects Your Hormones

      |  Jan 24, 2023

    We all know that exercise is essential for a healthy lifestyle, from getting muscles toned to maintaining a healthy weight. However, exercise can also play an important role in how your body uses and balances hormones. Understanding which hormones are affected by your physical fitness can help you keep your wellness goals on track.

    What Hormones are Affected by Exercise?

    The endocrine system is complex, and factors ranging from diet to menstrual cycles and even stress can affect different hormones. However, there are five hormones with a direct connection to exercise and physical health.

    1. Irisin

    Irisin helps regulate how the body stores fat. Production of this hormone increases when the body sweats, so increasing your exercise intensity levels will boost the amount of irisin your body will produce. Incorporating one or two high-intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions a week can be highly beneficial.

    2. Testosterone

    Testosterone is usually linked with being a male hormone. However, it is also produced by women’s bodies, just in smaller amounts. Testosterone is a key component of sex drive and muscle growth for women, and exercise can help stimulate its production. If muscle development is a goal, supplement your exercise routine with creatine to help boost muscle mass growth.

    3. Estrogen

    For women, estrogen is one of the biggest factors in a healthy body. This hormone is involved in everything from menstrual cycles to bone strength, and it’s even a factor in how your body processes cholesterol. However, excess estrogen can also lead to negative effects, including an increased risk of cardiovascular issues and certain types of cancer. Exercise can help mitigate this by rebalancing estrogen production in the body.

    4. Human Growth Hormone

    Human growth hormone (HGH) is an essential hormone that contributes to muscle and bone strength and regulates the body’s fat metabolism rate. HGH is produced more during high-intensity workouts that involve resistance and high-impact, quick-moving activities. Focus on strength training and fast-paced cardio rather than endurance exercises. 

    The Key Takeaways About Exercise and Hormones

    Incorporating multiple kinds of exercise into your weekly routine is essential for developing a balanced and sustainable practice. If you are new to following a fitness routine, start slowly and introduce different types of exercise as you pick up the pace.

    A healthy weekly exercise routine should involve a mix of high- and moderate-intensity workouts with some light exercise, such as yoga, or rest days to allow your body time to recover. Throughout the week, make sure your routine is rigorous enough to work up a heavy sweat for boosted irisin and HGH levels. 

    Understanding your hormones is also important. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have and check in on your hormone levels. If you’ve noticed a large fluctuation in weight, a change in your menstrual cycle, or increased fatigue, it’s vital to check whether a hormone imbalance is responsible.

    Finally, adding supplements to your routine can help you restore balance. Always consult an expert before adding supplements or starting a new workout routine. Our Aging Wellness Assessment is a great way to get to know your body and identify goals that will help you feel your best.