What is it about working out that makes our body feel so good? Whether you are a weight lifter, jogger, dancer or yoga enthusiast, the chances are good that you’ve experienced a unique physical and emotional pleasure at the end of a workout session. The body responds to physical activity in a variety of ways, one of which includes the release of a variety of post-workout hormones designed to regulate energy usage and repair muscle tissue, among other functions. In addition to an array of beneficial physical effects, certain hormones also provide increased psychological satisfaction, producing what many fitness enthusiasts describe as the “glow.” Here is a brief overview of post-workout hormones and their functions within the human body.
A collection of hormone and hormone-related chemical compounds, growth factors are directly responsible for repairing muscle fibers which are damaged during workouts. Common functions of growth factors include:
* Creating new blood capillaries during the muscular regeneration process. (Fibroblast growth factor)
* Regulating muscle mass growth. (Insulin growth factor)
* Enhancing fat metabolism for use during muscle growth. ( Growth hormone)
* Increasing the quantity of neurotransmitters, catalyzing tissue growth (Testosterone)
Growth factors are an indispensable element of post-workout recovery and provide athletes and fitness bufsf with much-needed recovery between sessions.
Although testosterone has been mentioned once already, it’s significant overall importance in exercise physiology necessitates further discussion. One of the most dominant post-workout hormones, testosterone is directly responsible for a wide range of physiological functions, including:
* Maintaining bone density.
* Increasing lean muscle mass.
* Reducing the likelihood of osteoporosis.
Certain anaerobic workouts, such as sprinting and weight training have been linked with an increase in testosterone production. Individuals engaging in intensive aerobic workouts, such as long-distance running or swimming, can expect their testosterone levels to decrease, which can be offset with periodic alterations to exercise routines. Extremely low levels of testosterone can prove to be detrimental to overall health, and have been linked to depression, weight gain and heart disease. Thankfully, periodic anaerobic workouts will ensure that testosterone levels remain balanced.
You can thank this hormone for those wonderful feelings of happiness and pleasure you experience after a workout. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter found in the human brain, a chemical that is transferred between individual nerve cells. Serotonin is directly responsible for a range of physical and emotional sensations, such as happiness, sexual arousal and well-being. Serotonin is produced during periods of sustained aerobic exercise, such as jogging, cycling or distance swimming. The famous “runner’s high” is due in part to the increased presence of seratonin and other neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and norepinephrine.
For women, regular exercise can result in decreased levels of estrogen, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing! Although estrogen is needed to maintain a range of body functions pertinent to the female gender, increased levels of this particular hormone have been connected to an increase in the risk of breast cancer. By establishing a standard exercise routine, women can ensure that their body remains in peak health throughout the year. For women who are interested in establishing rigorous exercise routines, such as professional athletes or inspired amateurs, a range of estrogen supplements are available that can keep hormone levels balanced.
Whatever your preferred method of daily physical activity, you can benefit from a range of powerful post-workout hormones. Increased energy levels, optimism and sexual health are all beneficial side effects of post-workout hormones.
In A Nutshell: Each time you exercise, your body undergoes significant post-workout processes, including the release of a variety of hormones. These potent chemical messengers help repair damaged muscles, increase metabolism, regulate energy usage and increase overall feelings of well-being. All in all, exercise and hormones released during workouts offer a much-needed boost following a tough day at the gym or on the track!