Today I am talking about what exercise is best for women who are trying to balance their hormones naturally.
My #1 Tip
My number one tip here is to actually avoid over exercising! Over exercising can create a whole cascade of negative impacts on the endocrine system. We know that if you over exercise it can increase the level of cortisol production which in turn can have an adverse impact on adrenal production of other hormones. Ironically this can prevent you from losing weight.
If your cortisol levels are too high it can really slow down weight loss.
So, avoiding over exercising is the most important thing you can do.
However, it is important to start exercising and also increasing the amount of exercise you are doing as your fitness improves.
If you haven’t exercised for a while the first thing you should do is just start with a 20min brisk walk every day.
Walking is fantastic. You’re out in nature, breathing in fresh air, oxygenating the body and 20 minutes per day of walking that gets your heart rate elevated (huffing and puffing a little bit) is ideal.
It’s enough to start the process of burning up and metabolising excessive cortisol and helping to gain control of your hormones again.
It also results in the release of uplifting brain chemicals like endorphins and can actually help you feel a lot better. This is a great way to start exercising, 20min brisk walk most days of the week.
As your fitness starts to improve you might find that that is less effective and you no longer are getting the benefit that you seemed to be getting with that short amount of walking.
In that case it just means that your fitness is improving and you need to do a little bit more. Your body has adapted to that amount of exercise and to get the same benefit you need to do a little bit more.
So, you might decide to keep it at 20min per day as it suits your lifestyle but include some stairs or hills – anything you can do to get your heart rate up.
To really start getting the oxygen flowing and circulation moving and giving you the release of happy hormones in the brain.
So, remember as your fitness increases you need to change the type of exercise that you’re doing.
Weight training can also be really beneficial. Strength training or resistance training helps to improve insulin sensitivity.
We know that improving insulin sensitivity is fantastic for women who have a hormonal imbalance.
See how you go. There are lots of YouTube videos that can help, but you might find it beneficial to join a gym or meet with a personal trainer just to get you started on an individualised weight training program so that you get the benefits of improving insulin sensitivity.
We also know that as you build lean muscle mass, it helps to improve your metabolic rate which will give you long term benefits for both your hormones, your healthy weight management and your general wellbeing.
Strong Women Stay Young
Focus on developing your strength and building lean muscle mass as much as you can.
With resistance training, it’s really important that you include enough rest time. You definitely want to avoid doing resistance training every day. You need to have a break of at least 48 hours between sessions using the same muscle groups to give your muscles a chance to adapt.
So when resistance training exercise you might only want to be doing it 2-3 times a week – remember it’s in the rest time that your muscles and body are adapting and regenerating. This is when you are actually experiencing the benefits of the resistance training that you are doing.
If you do resistance training more frequently, you run the risk of over training and as I spoke about – overtraining is one of the worst things you can do for your hormones.
Classes To Consider
I love Yoga and Pilates as well. They can both help to improve lean muscle mass and work on that resistance body training using your own natural body weight. In Pilates there is also some use of resistance bands and other resistance equipment.
Both exercises are wonderful for improving your core strength and also inducing a relaxation response in your body.
Training your body to go into the relaxation response is one of the best things you can do for your hormones and long-term health. We want to support that process as much as possible. Most of us have forgotten what the relaxation response even feels like. But doing those types of exercises where there is a link between the mind and the body can be most helpful.
I love yoga – it really helps to improve lymphatic flow and reduce pelvic congestion.
For most women that have either a hormonal imbalance or a gynaecological condition (like Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome or Endometriosis), reducing pelvic congestion can be really beneficial.
You need to be mindful about doing that type of exercise when you do have your period because sometimes it can cause an increase in blood flow – but speak to the instructor about it.
Always start these kinds of exercises with an instructor so you can get personalised individualised recommendations.
There are certain yoga exercises that are actually GREAT to do during your period it’s just a matter of getting the right advice for your body at the right time.
Hope this information has been helpful, thanks for listening and I will see you next time.