Thursday, April 14, 2016

Strength Training and Hormones

Hormones are chemical messengers that coordinate the body's complex workings and boost energy levels, manage weight fluctuations, regulate blood sugar levels, increase muscle burning and fat metabolism, and improve our mood.

While testosterone is a male hormone, females have small amounts of testosterone as well. It is just as important in females as in men, and if utilized can help females become more effective at fat burning. Testosterone helps keep bones strong, increases lean muscle mass, is beneficial for cognitive health, initiates protein synthesis, and increases your Human Growth Hormone which declines with age. 

Testosterone in females can be stimulated through strength training. But because the amount of testosterone in women is much lower than it is in males, there is no worries up bulking up like the Hulk.

There are several benefits of testosterone when you do strength training or any resistance work.
  1. It enhances liver and muscle insulin (blood sugar hormone) sensitivity. Because of this, it can benefit women with diabeties or Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), and help them lose weight more effectively.
  2. Weight training increases ephedrine and norepinephrine which triggers fat burning.
  3. Strength training helps balance estrogen.
  4. Total body resistance training improves several hormonal responses.
  5. The testosterone helps build lean muscle tissue.
  6. It increases your Basal Metabolic Rate (the energy your body uses at rest).
  7. Weight training and resistance exercises crank up your metabolism and extend fat burning hours after the workout.
New at strength training? Start off slow and slowly add more weights. Remember, do what you can. Progress will come.

Next week I will be covering why weight/body resistance training is important for females as we age and go through menopause.  

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