We often hear about the benefits of physical activity and how keeping active can positively impact our body's natural cycles. Female hormones act like gatekeepers by regulating chemical signals throughout your entire system.
What are hormones
Hormones regulate various biological activities, including growth, development, reproduction, energy use and storage, and water and electrolyte balance. Think of hormones as messengers exchanging signals from one cell to another. The circulatory system carries most hormones to different body areas, where they influence specific cells and organs.
Hormones, especially female hormones, are vital for female bodies to function, which is why it is essential to keep things balanced. Hormones carry out their functions by evoking responses from specific organs or tissues.
Five Hormones That Every Woman Should Know About
Irisin – the ""exercise hormone""
Irisin, commonly known as ""exercise hormone"", is released during moderate aerobic endurance activity when your cardiorespiratory system is engaged and your muscles are exerted. In the past two years, scientists have discovered that this hormone can help maintain healthy body weight, improve cognition, and slow the ageing process.
Sara Gottfried, nutritionist and author of ""The Hormone Cure and The Hormone Reset Diet"", explains that sessions of individual exercises, at moderate intensity, increase irisin levels by 12% in women.
If you need one more reason to motivate yourself to be more physically active, you can add the exercise-induced hormone irisin to your list!
Estrogen performs the most important physiological functions in a women'swomen's body: they regulate sexual maturation, bone elongation growth, cognitive processes – such as attention and memory – the menstrual cycle, and cause fertilization and pregnancy to take place.
Did you know that estrogen is produced in fat tissue? Yes: estrogen is responsible for the distribution of body fat around the abdomen, hips and buttocks. However, this doesn'tdoesn't make estrogen the ''bad guy''. No, estrogen can help take the pain out of high-intensity training, as it helps retain water around the joints and keeps collagen synthesis high.
The most effective way not to run into hormonal changes and keep your estrogen level in balance is to monitor your weight.
Testosterone is typically known as a ""manly hormone""; however, it is also naturally found in female bodies. Testosterone plays an important role in muscle growth as it is known to improve muscle mass and improve circulation. Many women fear getting too muscular with intense physical activity. However, we can assure you that a regular workout has never turned any woman into a bodybuilder… if that were the case, all men who train/lift weight would be looking like Hulk!
Cortisol, The Stress Hormone
Cortisol is often referred to as the ""stress hormone"" because its production increases under severe psycho-physical stress conditions.
How to reduce the stress hormone? Starting from the assumption that all stressful conditions can affect your cortisol levels, the only solution is to try to do the most obvious – yet hardest – thing: prevent or avoid stressful situations. Ha! If it was only that easy, right? However, it is not impossible. Train yourself to walk away from situations that affect your stress levels; a little ""me time"" can go a long way.
If you know your cortisol levels are high, opt for low intensity. Also, keep an eye on your breathing and your diet. Rebalance your mind through rest and meditation.
Hormonal Imbalances: Symptoms
Hormonal imbalances occur when there is too much or too little of a hormone in the bloodstream. Because of their essential role in the body, even small hormonal imbalances can cause side effects throughout your body.
Hormonal imbalances can manifest in a range of ways. Have you ever had a particularly heavy, irregular or painful period? or an outburst of acne, facial hair, hot flushes or even hair loss? These are among the most common symptoms of hormonal imbalance. If you suffer from one or more of these symptoms, do not worry; it is your body'sbody's way of telling you that it needs your help. Contact your GP for more information on how you can get your hormones back on track.
Physical Activity and Hormonal Balance
Although many factors influence your body's hormone balance, one of the most effective solutions for maintaining equilibrium is consistent and regular physical activity.
It may seem too good to be true, but actually, it is not. Physical activity is associated with reduced risk for breast cancer – perhaps through reductions in circulating reproductive hormones (estrogens and androgens) – and may also play a role in regulating menopausal symptoms.
Overall keeping fit and active can bring you many benefits, so why not start today? Find your Balance with Curves.
Curves is always by your side to help you find the right balance, get to know your body and advise you on the exercise routine that best suits you. Follow us on social and find a club near you today!