There are lots of people who really enjoy heading to the health club several times a week, or swimming laps or hitting the running trail for exercise. Others enjoy bike riding, playing soccer or finding other forms of exercise to stay fit. But for many people, exercise is often put aside because of work and family or lifestyle commitments that simply prevent devoting time to keeping in shape.
The bottom line is that exercise is a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle. Without it, people tend to gain weight, have higher cholesterol and develop other debilitating diseases. But the truth is with a few simple adjustments and scheduling tricks, it’s easier to include exercise as part of your daily routine than you think.
Exercise and Hormones
One area that can’t be overlooked when it comes to exercise is hormones and how they impact the body’s cellular processes. Hormones are produced in the endocrine system and helps to build new muscle while burning fat. While there are many different hormones in the human body, there are several that play a vital role in controlling the body’s response to exercise. Having the proper hormone levels in the body and good hormone health will help to keep the body functioning properly.
One of these hormones is cortisol, which responds to low blood sugar, stress and of course exercise. It helps the body create the glucose it needs to keep exercising. It’s also needed to help repair damaged tissue, and long periods of exercise can prevent it from doing its job.
Testosterone is another key hormone and is responsible for repairing muscles damaged during exercise as well as helping grow new muscle. It’s important for helping both men and women to increase muscle mass and reduce excess belly fat. Human growth hormone, or HGH, works to increase muscle proteins that are responsible for muscle growth. It is stimulated by specific high-intensity exercises that include heavy strength training and weight lifting, power training and intense cardiopulmonary exercise.
Irisin is often called the “exercise hormone,” and is crucial to exercise. When you sweat during exercise it stimulates increased production of Irisin, which is why it’s important for women to perform weight lifting and strength training. Estrogen is a hormone that helps to reduce a condition called estrogen dominance, lowering the risk of breast cancer.
Adding More Exercise to Your Daily Life
So what can you do if your busy schedule at work or home simply prevents you from devoting specific times to exercise during the week? Things as simple as power cleaning your home or heavy activity with the kids and their pets count as exercise, as long as you can sustain it for a period of time. But here are some key tips to easily add more exercise to your busy day.
- Instead of taking the elevator to your floor, take the stairs. Climbing stairs is a great exercise, as it works both the body’s muscles as well as provides cardiovascular benefits. And when you’re on an escalator, don’t just stand there- walk up those stairs!
- Walk as much as possible. Don’t look for the closest parking spot – park further away so you have to walk to the door. If you take bus or other transit, hop off a stop early so you have to walk to your office. All of those extra steps help burn calories and help to keep you physically fit.
- Get physical! Exercise is very important to keeping your hormone levels healthy. Do pushups, pull-ups and squats every day – and increase the number you do each day.
- Plan an active “date night” with your partner. instead of heading to a movie, go for a bike ride or a run. Schedule these in advance to make sure you follow through with them.
- If you work at a desk, make sure you exercise at the top and bottom of each hour. Stand up and stretch, do squats, do side lunges and other exercises that you can do right at your desk. Just be sure you don’t sit for hours at a time.
Follow through is critical if you want to stay healthy and keep your hormone levels healthy, too. You’ll be surprised how much better you’ll feel when you make fitness an important part of your daily routine.
Image Credit: Boris Stefanik | Unsplash