Every gender is affected by hormones. Fortunately, from a female perspective, hormonal changes and hormonal imbalances are being talked about more and more.
As women, we live with hormonal fluctuation throughout our lives. We’re acutely aware of how our hormones affect us and the way we feel—especially because menstrual cycles demonstrate to us the effects of these hormonal changes on a regular basis.
Too Much Estrogen
And while some hormonal fluctuation is to be expected, a hormone imbalance is a health problem. Your body needs these hormones to function, but excess estrogen, for example, can make your body store more fat and can lead to obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Worse still, excess fat makes your body produce even more estrogen. It can easily become a vicious cycle.
Too Little Estrogen
And then we get older, and more hormonal changes occur.
As we age, most of us will produce less estrogen. Low estrogen levels can increase your risk of heart disease and osteoporosis. A dip in estrogen levels can also mean more problematic belly fat.
In short: Balance is best.
How to Achieve Hormonal Balance
First of all, you should discuss your hormones with your doctor. If you’re having issues, there are a lot of medical solutions out there, including hormone replacement therapy (HRT). But as we said at the top, strength training is a healthy, simple, and effective way to help regulate your hormonal levels.
When it comes to estrogen, lean muscle mass is a major positive factor. The act of strength training—that is, the workout itself—burns calories. But better still, it also builds lean muscle, which continues to burn calories and regulate your hormones even when you’re not working out.
That means lower body fat, which helps to put your estrogen levels back where they belong. That’s why strength training specifically—rather than exercise in general—is so important for hormonal regulation.
On top of that, strength training counteracts other hormonal symptoms by increasing bone density (take that, osteoporosis) and, as we discussed in last month’s blog, improving insulin absorption (not today, type 2 diabetes).
When your hormones get out of balance, you’re more susceptible to unhealthy conditions, including increased body fat. Those unhealthy conditions then cause more hormonal imbalance, and so on.
No matter your age, strength training puts you back in control of your hormones and your body as a whole.