Exercise is a pillar of hormone balancing but both a lack of exercise and over-exercising can cause an imbalance. Exercise for hormone balance has to be, well… balanced.
My top tips:
Think more in terms of daily movement as opposed to having an all or nothing approach to exercise.
Ideally, we want to be doing a combination of strength training, HIIT training and restorative exercise.
BUT… more importantly, you must do something you enjoy.
- Balance blood sugar levels
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Promote feel-good neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine
- Reduce stress by producing feel-good endorphins
- Increase leptin sensitivity, your satiety hormone
- Promote oxytocin, the love hormone
- Improve sleep quantity and quality
- Normalise oestrogen levels both excess and low oestrogen
- Protect brain, bone and heart health
Have you moved your body today?
Exercise for Hormone Balance
What is it: lifting weights, using resistance bands or bodyweight exercises.
Why: Promotes human growth hormone which helps with the building of muscle and burning of fat, balances oestrogen and testosterone (think sex drive), and improves insulin sensitivity.
Free Resources: There are many free resources on YouTube such as this one, but technique is important with strength training, so I would recommend working with a trainer.
What is it: high-intensity interval training, i.e. short bursts of interval training, designed to get the heart rate high.
Why: it is quick, so no excuses and is proven to burn fat more effectively than aerobic exercise. It improves insulin sensitivity (blood sugar balancing) and offers protection against osteoporosis.
Free Resources: Joe Wicks, The Body Coach
What is it: calming exercise – yoga, pilates, walking in nature.
Why: Restorative exercise is super important and often overlooked. We need to bring quiet and calm into our lives and reduce cortisol levels plus it helps with flexibility and suppleness.
Free Resources: Yoga with Adrienne
Our energy changes week by week throughout our menstrual cycle. Having an awareness of this can be useful for getting the most out of our exercise routines. You can read more about that here.
Equally, our exercise needs to change as we move throughout our life. What suits women in their 20-30s doesn’t suit women in their 40-50s. If you are exercising and eating healthy (as you have always done) and gaining weight, this is a good indication that something needs to change. Get in touch if this is you.