How Hormones Affect Your Workout 

Your hormones can either help to develop new tissue or to break it down – which means they can have an important impact on your workout routine and physique.Your hormones are a crucial part of your health and wellbeing. Put simply, they’re chemical messengers that control various functions in your body, such as your appetite, metabolism, energy, mood, sleep and libido. They’re created in your numerous endocrine glands, which include the adrenal, pituitary and pineal glands as well as the ovaries in women and the testes in men.

Hormones are either anabolic or catabolic, which means that they can either help develop new tissue or break it down. As a result, they can have an important impact on your workout routine and physique. Shifts in your hormone levels can also help explain why sometimes you feel as though you could bench-press Muhammad Ali, and at other times you barely have the energy for more than a gentle walk on the treadmill. Although men and women share many of the same hormones, there are a few important differences.

Hormones in women

The hormone fluctuations that occur when you menstruate can often leave you feeling sluggish, crampy, tired and pretty averse to exercise. But as it turns out, the hormonal changes in your body that occur during your period can increase your tolerance of pain and improve your muscle recovery. Exercising while you’re menstruating isn’t only safe, it’s also beneficial, and you should be able to manage your normal routine and even an endurance event just fine.

Hormones in men

In men, testosterone gets much of the attention when it comes hormones and exercise because of its ability to help you put on muscle and to aid recovery. But there are other important hormones, such as the human growth hormone and the insulin-like growth factor, which can improve your workouts by supporting your immune system, boosting your fat metabolism and helping your muscles to grow. Keeping these hormones in check will ensure that you get the most out of your exercise regime – for men and women alike.

How to keep your hormones healthy

Keeping your hormones in balance requires keeping the rest of your life in balance too. Getting enough sleep, eating nutritiously and exercising regularly all form part of the equation. Managing your stress is also crucial. If you’re overly stressed, you’re likely to release too much cortisol, a hormone that can break down muscles rather than develop them.

It’s important to note that as much as hormones affect your workout, your workout also affects your hormones. Exercising has been shown to reduce levels of insulin, too much of which can cause inflammation and heart disease. It can also increase adiponectin, which helps to regulate your metabolism. Engaging in any form of exercise, but especially a combination of aerobic and resistance training, will help your endocrine system to release the hormones you need at the right time and in the right amounts.


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