How to Balance Hormones through Exercise
Hormones play a significant role in growth and development, mood, and even metabolism. Read on to learn how to balance hormones through exercise.
You may have heard that hormones are chemical messengers that send signals to the organs, tissues, and cells to help different areas of the body communicate with one another. But you may not know that hormones have a significant influence over growth and development, mood, and even metabolism. Consequently, when you have a hormonal imbalance, you may experience such symptoms as fatigue, sleeplessness, and, most dire to dieters, weight gain. While hormone therapy is an option for restoring hormonal balance, you can also balance hormones in natural ways. Read on to learn how to balance hormones through exercise.
Rather than performing cardiovascular training alone, leading naturopath Dr. Natasha Turner recommends performing circuit training - that is, a combination of cardio and resistance training - in one session to boost the insulin response, testosterone, and the growth hormone. Work out for at least 30 minutes, or a maximum of 40 minutes, for 2-3 times per week. Leave little rest time between each circuit to keep your heart rate high for the duration of the workout.
Short Cardio Sessions
While lengthy cardio sessions pose heart-healthy benefits, when it comes to hormones and exercise, Dr. Turner advises short, interval cardio sessions for optimal hormonal benefits. Intervals simply refer to short periods of high-intensity exercise followed by a period of rest or lightened activity. Interval cardio sessions afford greater health benefits in less time, and the alternating fitness dynamics can motivate you to reach the finish line without pain or strain.
While women are often averse to lifting hefty weights, you can learn how to balance hormones by abandoning this fear and adopting a more heavy-duty workout. A study at the University of Connecticut at Storrs revealed that women who engaged in a weight training regimen of fewer repetitions with heavier weights experienced greater gains in the growth hormone after six months than those who lifted only moderate weights with more repetitions.
Walk It Off
The stress hormone known as cortisol can create inflammation and hormonal imbalance. Fortunately, walking outdoors can help balance hormones. Walking in forest environments can not only reduce cortisol levels, blood pressure, and heart rate, but boost the immune system, according to research published in Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine. When you grow weary of city life, head to the woods to reap health benefits directly from Mother Nature.
Yoga is an ancient discipline that is lauded in modern times for its ability to lower blood cortisol and adrenaline levels while boosting GABA, a chemical receptor that can help control fear and anxiety. In research published in the International Journal of Preventative Medicine, yoga was shown to lower stress and anxiety and improves autonomic functions by triggering neuro-hormonal mechanisms. Start unrolling those yoga mats to put your hormones on even keel.
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