We live in a stressful world. Every day our bodies are forced to respond to any number of stresses just to survive. That is hard enough, but when our hormones become imbalanced because of lack of activity, improper diet, and inadequate recovery, our body’s operations begin to decline. This imbalance will impact not only how we look, but how we feel – both mentally and physically.
Proper movement, nutrition, and recovery help to maintain a healthy hormonal balance. Focusing on these three areas can boost testosterone levels in men and increase muscle development, stabilize cortisol production, balance estrogen levels in men and women, and increase metabolism.
So, how does this work?
Moving efficiently and often helps strengthen our bones, joints, and muscles; preparing our bodies to handle the physical stresses of life. Proper movement also enhances specific hormone production to increase energy, build muscle and boost your metabolism.
Different types of movement have different benefits for our bodies. Resistance or strength training, increases muscle endurance, stimulates bone growth and builds lean muscle mass, which burns more calories than other types of tissue. Cardiovascular training helps keep your heart healthy, improves your metabolism and supports recovery. Whether your goal is to run a marathon, lift heavy weights, or look great in a bathing suit, cardio is a must.
There are also different intensities our heart can go through, and each intensity has a different impact on our body. For instance, low intensity, which includes longer sustained-duration exercise, greatly improves aerobic endurance and recovery. Medium and higher intensity workouts improve the heart’s strength, allowing you to burn more calories, push harder and help decrease your risk for heart disease.
Eating quality food and maintaining a balanced diet is essential for whole-body health.
The foods you choose to eat can help limit the body’s inflammatory response, allowing nutrients to be absorbed more efficiently. Proper nutrition can also promote a healthy gut, which in-turn promotes hormonal balance. Numerous studies have shown a link between a healthy microbiome (the ecosystem of bacteria in your gut) and increased immune system function, mood, and healthy hormone regulation. But you also need to make sure to eat enough calories to fuel your body, selecting the right macronutrient (carbs, fats, proteins) balance to optimize performance and recovery. Focusing on your personal nutrition makes a huge impact on your health and wellness.
Lastly, recovery is incredibly important because it gives your body time to repair, replenish energy stores and strengthen itself. Taking time to focus on recovery activities each day, such as stretching, yoga, Pilates, proper sleep, massage, and breathing exercises, will teach your body to better manage hormone production and help you handle the stress of life.
I have seen people change their bodies in ways they never thought possible. Changes that affected not only how they looked, but more importantly, how they felt. By focusing on these three key areas, it is truly amazing what the human body can achieve.