How to Regulate Hormones through Exercise
Did you know that you can regulate hormones through exercise?
Hormones are varied molecules that the endocrine produces. These hormones work together with the nervous system and are responsible for how we act, feel and think.
They play a very important role in the body as they have to provide the growth that our body needs. The pituitary gland is responsible for secreting growth hormones during childhood and adolescence.
Furthermore, hormones also work to:
- Activate or inhibit enzymes
- Manage the reproduction process
- Control energy use and storage
- Complete jobs on different organs
- Determine sex characteristics
However, in order to understand how hormones really work, you need to know that there are different types of hormones in your body and each one of them carries out a specific role.
Below, we’ve explained the more significant hormones in detail as well as their functions. In addition, you’ll read about how to regulate them by exercising.
Types of hormones
Among the body’s most important hormones are the following:
- Progesterone: The ovaries, uterus and mammary glands secrete this hormone to regulate menstural periods.
- Insulin increases the body’s glucose use and decreases blood sugar levels.
- Thyroxine: The thyroid and parathyroid glands produce thyroxine. It regulates how the body metabolizes calcium and phosphate.
- Adrenaline: The adrenal glands produce this hormone, which increases heart rate and constricts blood vessels. In addition, it puts the body on high alert.
- Serotonin: Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that controls mood, appetite and sleepiness.
- Dopamine: Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that increases your heart rate and blood pressure.
- Melatonin adjusts the immune system with its antioxidant effects and also makes us sleepy.
- Somatotropin: This hormone works on bone and muscles, stimulating growth and cellular mitosis.
- Prolactin: Prolactin affects the breasts, uterus and central nervous system. It’s responsible for producing milk during pregnancy in addition for the sensation of pleasure in sexual intercourse.
- Oxitocyn: This hormone plays a role in orgasms and is also present in the reactions that allow us to trust others.
- Leptin: Fatty tissues produce leptin, which reduces appetite and raises the body’s metabolic rate.
- Orexine allows the body to spend more energy and have a healthy appetite.
Visit this article: How Hormones Can Affect Your Weight
How does exercise regulate hormones?
When exercising does for your hormones
The first thing that you should know is that the human body is one whole made up of a lot of parts that all work together. The nervous system works hand in hand with the endocrine system. While one system works to produce neurotransmitters, the other produces hormones to work with them.
When we exercise, our body starts a set of chemical or neuro-chemical processes to stop the stress that’s caused by these stimulation.
As we work out, our body adjusts metabolism in the respiratory and vascular system, in the blood and in the body overall.
The nervous and endocrine system coordinate these changes every time we work out and then our body recovers.
On other words, exercise actives certain hormones to regulate our performance for each day and afterwards, it regulates our muscle recovery.
When we exercise, our body’s hormones carry out the following functions:
- Regulate body temperature
- Strengthen muscles
- Alter mood
- Stimulate metabolism for weight loss
Also read: 6 Tricks to Strengthen Your Nervous System
Hormones that are activated with exercise
- Antidiuretic hormone: These hormones help with liquid absorption in the bladder.
- Growth hormone: This increases your muscle, bone and collagen volume. This hormone plays a very important part in metabolizing fat. Secretion starts in pituitary gland after 25 minutes of exercise. Then, it increases depending on the duration and intensity of the work out.
- Prolactin: Prolactin levels temporarily increase with exercise. The pituitary gland releases the hormone, which regulates growth and development of the mammary glands, milk production for breastfeeding and salt metabolism.
- Endorphins: When we do an intense workout regularly for at least three times a week for 60 minutes, our body releases endorphins. According to a study by the Karolinska Institutet, endorphins improve mood and reduce the feeling of emotional pain.
Generally speaking, exercise—regardless of if it’s light, moderate or high intensity—activates certain hormones in our body. It boosts metabolism and aids in weight loss.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
Gawel, M. J., Park, D. M., Alaghband-Zadeh, J., & Rose, F. C. (1979). Exercise and hormonal secretion. Postgraduate Medical Journal. https://doi.org/10.1136/pgmj.55.644.373
Kraemer, W. J., & Ratamess, N. A. (2005). Hormonal responses and adaptations to resistance exercise and training. Sports Medicine. https://doi.org/10.2165/00007256-200535040-00004
Hackney, A. C., & Lane, A. R. (2015). Exercise and the Regulation of Endocrine Hormones. In Progress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science. https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.pmbts.2015.07.001
Ignacio, D. L., Diego, D. H., Cavalcanti-de-Albuquerque, J. P. A., Louzada, R. A., Carvalho, D. P., & Werneck-de-Castro, J. P. (2015). Thyroid hormone and estrogen regulate exercise-induced growth hormone release. PLoS ONE. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0122556