Harnessing hormonal harmony

it's a balancing act

Physical fitness is just one small benefit of regular exercise. Its reach extends into the realms of hormonal equilibrium, creativity, and overall well-being. Beyond sculpting muscles, it plays a key role in harnessing hormonal harmony. Through increased blood flow and neurotransmitter release, it ignites the spark of creativity, unveiling innovative solutions. Furthermore, exercise cultivates balance – both physical and mentally, enhancing coordination and proprioception (our ability to identify where we are in space) while building resilience against falls.

In this holistic approach to health, each workout delivers a range of benefits, harnessing hormonal harmony, unleashing creativity, and nurturing balance.

put your best foot forward with regular exercise

Hormonal harmony

In our modern world of busy-ness, where stress seems ever present, maintaining hormonal balance often feels like an elusive goal. However, happily, there exists a powerful better-than-medication cure: exercise. Beyond its well-known physical benefits (better sleep, more energy, muscle tone…), regular physical activity plays a pivotal role in harmonising our body’s intricate hormonal balance.

This becomes particularly important as women enter their peri-menopausal years, when hormones embark on a rollercoaster of ups and downs, sending many women into a vortex of symptoms (there are at least 34 known symptoms).

Stress hormones:

One of the key hormonal players is cortisol, aka: the stress hormone. When stress becomes chronic, cortisol levels soar, wreaking havoc on our health and vitality. However, taking part in regular exercise provides a powerful and effective counterbalance. Physical activity burns up cortisol and also stimulates the release of endorphins, our body’s natural mood elevators, effectively dampening cortisol production.
Consequently, regular workouts become a powerful stress-busting tool, fostering a more tranquil state of mind.

Insulin and blood sugars:

exercise helps the body regulate blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity

Exercise plays a key role in the body’s response to sugars and it’s insulin sensitivity. Insulin is the hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels and plays a crucial role in metabolism. Sedentary lifestyles and poor dietary choices often lead to insulin resistance, a precursor to type 2 diabetes.

But you guessed it: engaging in regular exercise enhances insulin sensitivity, enabling cells to efficiently absorb glucose from the bloodstream. This not only aids in blood sugar regulation but also reduces the risk of metabolic disorders.

Exercise and mental clarity:

Beyond cortisol and insulin, exercise influences the secretion of various other hormones, including adrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin. Intense workouts (around a 7 – 9 rate of exertion) prompt the release of adrenaline, heightening alertness and focus, while also supporting heart health.

Post exercise rush & mental health:

This is the dopamine hit you’ll get post-exercise which provides a natural incentive to stay active, and can help the formation and maintenance of healthy habits. Additionally, the sustained elevation of serotonin levels fosters a sense of well-being and tranquility, combating anxiety and depression.

you’re only one workout away from a good mood

Sex hormones:

Exercise has a profound effect on the key sex hormones: testosterone and estrogen. Regular physical activity enhances testosterone production, vital for muscle growth, strength, and libido in both men and women (don’t worry ladies, you won’t get big muscles unless you specifically train and eat for that). Conversely, it helps regulate estrogen levels, reducing the risk of hormonal imbalances associated with conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and menopause in women.

Creative problem solving:

Studies have shown that teams engaging in light physical exercise prior to problem solving, came up with more innovative and creative solutions than teams who didn’t exercise before brainstorming.

Exercise stimulates blood flow to the brain, oxygenating cells and igniting neural pathways associated with creative thinking. Whether it’s a brisk walk outdoors, a soul-soothing yoga session, or an invigorating run, movement prompts a surge of endorphins and neurotransmitters that elevate mood and enhance cognitive function.

So, the next time you find yourself grappling with writer’s block or grappling for inspiration, lace up your runners and step into the boundless realm of creativity that awaits on the open road or in the quiet confines of a yoga mat. Your body, mind, and creativity will thank you for it.

Fall prevention:

Barre class for balance, mobility and flexibility

You know you’re getting old when you “have a fall” rather than “fall over”.

I’m not sure at what age that phrase changes, but pay attention next time someone tells you they fell: what term do they use?

All jokes aside, fall prevention is a key longevity marker: 33% of elderly people will die within 12 months of a fall resulting in hip fracture.

Exercises focusing on balance and bone density are powerful defenders against falls as we age. A fall prevention exercise routine will include strengthening exercises like squats, but also mobility and flexibility exercise like barre, yoga and Pilates.

You may be years off “elderly”, however, what we do now, today, impacts how we live in the next 10, 15, 20 years.

As the adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure—investing in exercise today can pave the way for a safer, more vibrant tomorrow.

In a world where stress is rampant and hormonal imbalances are increasingly common, exercise emerges as a beacon of hope—a transformative tool to recalibrate our body and mind. So, lace up those runners, step into the rhythm of movement, and embark on a journey towards hormonal harmony and vibrant well-being. Your body will thank you for it.

Whether it’s brisk walks in nature, invigorating cardio sessions, or empowering strength training, every bout of physical activity contributes to the happy harmony of hormones coursing through our bodies.

Anja Lineen, personal trainer, health coach, menopause educator

Anja Lineen is a personal trainer, health coach and menopause educator.
Anja is the owner and founder of GoForFit and The Wellbeing Toolkit

Interested in working with Anja? Click here for a free chat.

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