Yesterday we covered different hormones and how they affect your waistline, but can they also have influence on exercise? What a n-brainer, of course they can! Let’s see how exercise transcends throughout the body. Once exercise begins, the pituitary gland responds first by secreting wonderful growth hormone to increase the body’s production of bone, muscle and connective tissue. Next up is the thyroid gland, which releases T3 and T4. They increase heart rate and blood pressure, influence the thermoregulartory system (fancy for they control your body temperature), and they keep you on your toes by heightening your alertness. The next player is the adrenal glands, which release three hormones. First off is of course cortisol to raise blood pressure, and increase glucose levels. Next is aldosterone works with the kidneys in anticipation of dehydration. Lastly is adrenaline that increases the strength and frequency of heart contractions, while also speeding the breakdown of stored carbs into glucose for muscle energy. Other hormones affected by exercise?
- Testosterone (important for muscle tone and strength, metabolism, and lower body fat) increases with exercise and can last for 1-3 hours afterward
- Estrogen (increases fat breakdown, increases metabolism, elevates mood and increases libido) is released by the ovaries more during exercise and it too can remain elevated for 1-4 hours afterward.
- Epinephrine (increases blood flow, and breakdown of fat for fuel)
The key component to hormonal exercise is duration and intensity. Like we’ve covered before, long duration exercise (like running) can produce lots of cortisol, this coupled with the stresses of everyday live leads to chronically high levels. Acute cortisol levels, (like we discussed yesterday ) are catabolic, meaning they’re destructive to muscle tissue. Intensity is essential. You’ll get more out of short burst of exercise for a shorter time. Look at a ripped sprinter and than look at a marathoner, who has poor body composition in comparison and a lack of musculature. I spend time ‘working’ out than before. Sprint every once in a while (7-10 days), lift heavy sometimes. I use kettlebells because they work the whole body, are intense, and it doesn’t take me long to get a complete functional training session. Once a week I’ll lift heavy, then cycle a medium and light workout in there somewhere. For optimal hormonal exercise short and intense does the trick! For more on our fat burner weight loss programs check out our website at bodychange.net.