Weightlifting offers numerous health benefits that extend far beyond the gym, positively impacting various aspects of our well-being. Engaging in weightlifting routines promotes the development of lean muscle mass. This not only enhances physical strength and endurance, but also contributes to an improved metabolism, aiding in weight management and body composition. Regular weightlifting sessions play a pivotal role in bone health, increasing bone density and reducing the risk of osteoporosis. The cardiovascular system also reaps rewards as weightlifting improves heart health by enhancing circulation and lowering blood pressure. In addition, studies suggest weightlifting influences your hormones.
Moreover, weightlifting supports the release of endorphins, natural mood elevators that alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression, promoting mental well-being. The heightened self-confidence and sense of accomplishment gained through weightlifting further bolster our psychological health. Overall, weightlifting serves as a potent tool for fostering holistic wellness, fortifying the body and mind to thrive in everyday life.
5 ways weightlifting influences your hormones
According to studies, exercise is capable of balancing, suppressing and increasing a certain number of hormones. Today I will be discussing 5 different hormones affected by exercise: Human Growth Hormone, Dopamine, Adrenaline, Testosterone and Oestrogen.
1. Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
Hormone growth hormone is a peptide hormone produced by the pituitary gland. It plays a central role in growth, cell regeneration, and overall well-being. It stimulates tissue repair, supports muscle growth, and influences metabolism by encouraging the breakdown of fats for energy. In addition, it also supports bone density and mineralization, helping to strengthen skeletal health.
How does exercise help? Engaging in regular exercise, especially high-intensity activities and resistance training, stimulates the release of HGH from the pituitary gland. This hormone is instrumental in promoting muscle growth, repair, and recovery. This contributes to enhanced muscular strength and endurance.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, a chemical messenger that plays a fundamental role in the brain’s communication system. It is produced in several areas of the brain, with its primary center being the substantia nigra. Dopamine functions as a key player in various important physiological and psychological processes. Dopamine is known as the “feel good” hormone. It gives you a sense of pleasure, satisfaction and motivation when it is activated.
How does exercise help? Sticking to regular physical activity, especially those involving resistance training and challenging movements, triggers the release of dopamine. This leads to improved mood, reduced stress, and enhanced feelings of well-being. In addition, regular exercise helps maintain healthy dopamine levels, supporting motivation, focus, and pleasure sensations.
Adrenaline, also known as epinephrine, is a hormone and neurotransmitter. It rapidly prepares the body for a “fight or flight” response in stressful or dangerous situations. As a result, it increases heart rate, dilates airways, redirects blood flow to vital organs and muscles. It also heightens alertness and energy, enabling quick reactions and enhanced physical performance. Adrenaline is produced by the adrenal glands. It is essential for survival, helping us respond effectively to immediate threats.
How does exercise help? Regular exercise helps to lower your adrenaline levels. As a result, it improves your mood (through the release of endorphins) and helps put you in a more relaxed state. Exercise is great for people which high levels of anxiety or stress as they tend to have higher levels of adrenaline.
Testosterone is a hormone primarily produced in the testes (in males) and in smaller amounts in the ovaries (in females) and adrenal glands. It also influences mood, energy levels, and libido. While it is often associated with male characteristics, it is present in both genders and contributes to overall health and well-being
How does exercise help? Testosterone plays a vital role in promoting muscle protein growth and helps to repair muscle damage which often occurs during exercise. According to studies, strength training and high intensity interval training (HIIT) can increase testosterone levels.
Oestrogen is a group of hormones primarily produced in the ovaries (in females) and in smaller amounts in the testes (in males) and adrenal glands. It plays a crucial role in the development of female reproductive organs. As a result, it regulates the menstrual cycle, and supports pregnancy.
How does exercise help? Regular exercise can help regulate or lower excess levels of oestrogen and increase protein levels. Maintaining a healthy body weight through exercise can mitigate the risk of estrogen-related imbalances. Including those associated with obesity. Additionally, exercise supports overall well-being by enhancing cardiovascular health, bone density, and mood. This indirectly contributes to oestrogen regulation.