Hormones are biochemical messengers which form the signaling system in our body. Hormones control your sex drive, metabolism, sleep, fertility, and mood. They are also responsible for the growth and development of your body’s muscles. They affect the way you feel and function and that is why it’s important to keep them balanced. An easy and natural way to keep your hormones in balance is by exercising regularly.
Here are five hormones that are affected by your fitness routine and how you can keep them in check:
Its function is to protect the brain cells from aging and injury.
Irisin is called the exercise hormone which makes it our biological workout buddy. Exercising affects this hormone by stimulating its production due to sweating. This hormone battles with our fat in two ways-
1. By activating the genes which convert bad white fat into good brown fat
2. By regulating similar stem cells to become bone-building cells instead of storing fat.
The term estrogen refers to a group of three chemicals – estrone, estradiol, and estriol.
These are responsible for the development of female sexual (uterus and breasts) body parts and reproductive function. It also affects the growth and function of bones, liver, brain, heart and other tissues and helps in maintaining strong bones. In most women, levels of estrogen start declining at the age of 30 and after menopause, the production gets even lower. Women need estrogen but an excess of it becomes a risk for breast cancer. Exercise helps to reverse this process as it lowers the production of estrogen.
Exercising also reduces mortality after diagnosis and among survivors.The reason for excess estrogen production can be anything from pills to pesticides.
Testosterone is the male sex hormone but it is also produced in the female bodies, though in a lesser amount.
It helps to grow and repair muscles along with having a smooth intercourse. It also helps to improve muscles mass, boosts sex drive and reduces excess belly fat. Exercise helps in stimulating the production of testosterone.
4. Human growth hormone (HGH)
HGH plays an important role in the basic functioning of your body. It contributes to muscle and bone strength and regulates fat metabolism.
Your body releases HGH on its own while you are sleep, but certain kind of exercise have been shown to stimulate its production. For example, high-intensity workout that involves heavy weight and explosive movements (which leaves you breathless really quick).
It is also called as stress hormone as it regulates the changes that occur in our body in response to stress and anxiety.
It converts protein into energy, releases glycogen and counteracts inflammation. Excess of cortisol increases abdominal fat. Studies say low-intensity exercise may decrease cortisol level while moderate or high-intensity exercise may increase cortisol. Intense endurance training may lead to chronic cortisol increase.
So, if you are an endurance athlete, you need to take additional measures to counteract stress and high level of cortisol by taking Vitamin C supplements.