Do You Need HIIT To Balance Hormones For You?
HIIT is great for weight loss, focus, and energy. One key reason this approach to exercise is so effective may be that it is the most effective exercise strategy to balance hormones.
If you think hormone imbalance doesn’t apply to you, take a look at the list below of just some of the signs and symptoms of this problem and how exercise can help balance hormones so you can feel great!
Signs & Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalances
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of hormone imbalances include:
- Infertility and irregular periods
- Weight gain or weight loss (that’s unexplained and not due to intentional changes in your diet)
- Depression and anxiety
- Low libido
- Changes in appetite
- Digestive issues
- Hair loss and hair thinning
Symptoms of hormonal imbalances can range drastically depending on what type of disorder or illness they cause. For example, high estrogen can contribute to problems including endometriosis and reproductive issues, while symptoms of diabetes often include weight gain, changes in appetite, nerve damage, and problems with eyesight…
Exercise (Especially Interval Training) To Balance Hormones
One of the best all-around activities you can do for your health is high intensity interval training (HIIT) − including one of my favorite types called burst training. If there is a silver bullet out there to help with a sluggish metabolism, weight gain and other issues, this just might be it! Exercise in general is great for balancing hormones because it reduces inflammation, can help you maintain a healthy weight, lowers stress, helps regulate your appetite, and aids in getting better sleep.
Whether we’re talking about endorphins from a “runner’s high”, testosterone, growth hormone or insulin, HIIT and burst training can help your body regulate production and use of these hormones. Exercise can also enhance your immune system, allow your cells to take up more glucose (which lowers insulin), protect you from depression, and keep you more alert without the need for caffeine.
According to the University of Notre Dame Medical School in Sydney, “HIT is associated with increased patient compliance and improved cardiovascular and metabolic outcomes and is suitable for implementation in both healthy and ‘at risk’ populations”. (09) For people with hormonal imbalances, the key with exercise is to be careful not to overdo it. Training for a shorter period of time (about 20 minutes three times a week) but with higher intensity works well for most people who can’t afford to add any extra stress to their system. Keep in mind that optimal exercise can differ a lot from person to person however, so it’s a good idea to seek advise from a processional if you’re ever unsure.
– via Dr. Axe
Your hormones play very important roles in your overall fitness, but no hormone is more important than testosterone.
For men and women both, testosterone increases muscle mass, decreases fat storage, and enhances metabolic function. Exercise (specifically resistance training) helps to increase testosterone levels, which will, in turn, lead to better muscular and cardiovascular condition.
A 2015 study found that HIIT training sessions helped to increase testosterone levels very effectively. After three weeks of three 60-minute HIIT rowing sessions per week, athletes saw an increase in total testosterone ranging from 16.7 to 29.4%. Not only that but their testosterone to cortisol ratio improved by 1.3 to 1.7%.
Exercise helps increase hormones, but HIIT is the best of all!
– via Positive Health Wellness
Traditional Steady-State Exercise vs HIIT
For a number of years, doctors have encouraged people with hormone imbalances to exercise. Only recently has it become clear that the intensity of the exercise is most effective to balance hormones.
Here’s a look at why HIIT is more effective than steady state exercise to balance hormones.
The Exercise Concept Most are Missing: Intensity
If you are new to this it is important to start slow and work up. The two important exercise concepts to understand are volume and intensity.
Volume is the length of time you exercise while intensity is the difficulty the exercise entails. Most of us have been trained that volume is important, however, it is intensity that gives access to that inner pharmacy of feel good hormones.
What this means is that you can have a great work out in 15-30 minutes that will leaving you feeling focused for 4-6 hours.
On the other hand, if you are working out more than an hour and you are older than 40, you are actually depleting those feel good hormones. There are exceptions to that statement particularly with professional athletes and highly trained athletes but for the rest of us mere mortals:
When it comes to exercise, shorter is actually better especially if you are over 40!
There has been some recent research that this type of exercising can really increase the production of our natural hormones, including growth hormone. In time, I suspect research will show that all of the hormones critical to health will show an increase. I also think this type of exercise is the safest way to help balance hormones as long as it is coupled with rest and relaxation between sessions.
Remember the golden rule of exercise: shorter and more intense will lead to restoration of health and hormonal balance whereas a longer, steady state can really lead to depletion and fatigue.
– via The Healthy Home Economist
Have you tried HIIT yet?