The obvious benefits of exercising are strong muscles, firm skin, and improved overall health. But there are other changes that are taking place in your body. They are not visible to the eye, but very important: we are talking about the hormonal background, which changes noticeably during and after training.
What are hormones and what is their role in the body?
Hormones are biologically active substances that are produced by the glands of the endocrine system, as well as by the brain, liver, and heart. Once in the bloodstream, they are transported to the cells of organs and tissues in order to stimulate or reduce their activity, affecting many vital processes in the body and psyche, including the change in emotional states.
Science knows more than sixty different hormones, but they cannot be stored by the body for future use. Therefore, their synthesis occurs constantly and sometimes requires support or correction so that hormonal disruption or imbalance does not occur. The amount of hormones that a person’s body produces depends on many factors: food and drink, circadian rhythms, age, mental and physical condition, and sports.
It is the most important androgen, which belongs to male hormones, but is synthesized in a small amount in the body of women. Its functions are as follows:
- regulation of metabolism;
- the emergence of certain emotions and the ability to control them;
- decrease in the amount of body fat;
- increasing muscle volume and maintaining the elasticity of muscle fibers.
It is testosterone that allows bodybuilders to get a beautiful relief body with well-defined muscles. But it is important to understand that this requires not the maximum load (remember: some famous boxers with a powerful blow cannot boast of such impressive physical data at all), but local.
In other words, only the large muscles of the body, arms, and legs should be loaded to the limit: up to 80% of exercises require only one or two approaches and should not be repeated more often than once every two to three days. The principles of split training are based on this rule when the load on the arms, legs, back, and abs is alternately given.
In order to seriously increase the level of testosterone in the blood, you need to train intensively and regularly: with short-term anaerobic exercise, mandatory cardio workouts, warm-up and cool-down with stretching, proper rest, a balanced diet, and an increased amount of protein in the diet.
This is a female sex hormone, which is synthesized by the male body too, but in minimal quantities. He is responsible for the ability to compassion and empathy, sexual attraction and receiving physical and emotional pleasure, the processing of adipose tissue into pure energy necessary for the functioning of the human body.
Estrogen levels rise in the second half of endurance training, whether for long runs, swimming, or cycling. Exercises with a little additional burden are considered especially effective: for example, not just running, but moving uphill or with weights on the legs. In women, estrogen levels remain consistently high for up to six hours after completing a workout.
Do you want to feel especially attractive and have a good date? First, you should go to a fitness club or work out from the heart at home: the duration of your workout should be at least an hour!
Thyroxine is also called the heart hormone: it regulates the frequency of contractions of the heart muscle and helps maintain the normal functioning of blood vessels throughout the body. In addition, it also helps to increase metabolism, improve mood.
The concentration of thyroxine increases after a long intense exercise with anaerobic peaks, the maximum content remains for another 5-6 hours after the end of the training.
By the way, it is the development of the appropriate hormones that make you feel more joyful and happy that can explain the so-called “pitching syndrome”, when, in the event of missing the gym, a person experiences real emotional and physical withdrawal, grumbles and feels out of place.
Growth hormone is thought to be just as important to bodybuilders as testosterone. It performs the following functions:
- strengthens the elasticity and strength of the tendons;
- increases the regeneration, elasticity, and mobility of joints, improves their condition;
- strengthens bones and cartilage;
- reduces glucose consumption during exercise (in this case, training is more effective);
- accelerates the breakdown of fats and metabolism.
The synthesis of somatotropin starts already during the warm-up and gradually increases in the next 45 minutes for any type of sport, but with the obligatory elements of anaerobic load. This is followed by a sharp decline in the concentration of the hormone so that the effectiveness of the training also decreases. As well as it’s meaning.
If you regularly train for an hour, you will soon find that the condition of the skin and hair has improved, strength and endurance have increased, and visceral fat has slowly begun to disappear (it is known that it is the most difficult to drive away). Let’s say this thanks to hormone growth.
Another exercise option to increase the growth hormone concentration is anaerobic short training (for example, a sprint run) or an interval half hour at maximum power.
The fear hormone, also called “fight or flight.” One of the most interesting in understanding the mechanism of human survival and self-defense. It is needed to strengthen the work of the heart and to dramatically increase muscle strength and endurance. Epinephrine regulates the breakdown of glycogen in liver tissue and helps burn excess lipid stores. In order to increase the adrenaline level, you need to arrange a high-intensity workout from time to time and a medium-duration workout – up to 45 minutes.
A hormone that is secreted by the pancreas in response to the intake of simple carbohydrates – sugars. It is needed to lower blood glucose levels, regulate metabolic processes, correct fat absorption, and transport amino acids to muscle fibers.
Interestingly, strength and aerobic exercise significantly increase the sensitivity of body tissue cells to insulin (thereby reducing its level): this effect becomes noticeable after 10 minutes of physical activity. For this reason, even jogging for 15 minutes is uniquely beneficial for lowering insulin levels.
Tellingly, the level of glucose in the blood also drops during exercise, so after training, wolf hunger usually occurs and the so-called “carbohydrate window” opens. For half an hour, you can safely consume carbohydrates, including “forbidden” (for example, chocolate), without the risk of gaining excess weight.
Happiness hormones simultaneously suppress pain and hunger, reduce anxiety, and increase feelings of peace and joy. They are also needed for the normal synthesis of the hormone melatonin, which allows you to fall asleep quickly and sleep deeply.
The production of endorphins begins half an hour after the start of sports and remains at peak levels for several more hours. Aerobic exercise and endurance exercise are considered particularly effective.