Balancing Your Hormones With Exercise Is The New Hot Girl Trend

Imbalanced hormones can lead to a number of irritating problems, from stubborn breakouts to bloating. Trying to tackle your hormones on your own can be challenging, as it's tricky to determine which are causing issues without professional guidance. And unfortunately, many people may face resistance from providers who find it unnecessary to assess hormone levels before menopause. "We don't, as gynecologists, recommend having your hormones checked in a healthy, normally cycling woman," Dr. Leah S. Millheiser told Today.

Some symptoms could indicate that your hormones need to be looked at more closely. Beyond hormonal acne, you might experience thinning hair, heavy or irregular periods, and fatigue due to abnormal hormone activity, according to Northwell Health. If any of these apply to you, you may want to speak to your physician about the possibility of hormonal imbalance.

You might be curious as to whether there's something that you can do to address troublesome issues that stem from things being out-of-whack. You certainly don't want to try anything that could harm your health or worsen things. Fortunately, there may be a solution for those looking to support their hormones without worrying about side effects. It goes without saying that regular exercise is crucial for overall well-being, but did you know that it may even help regulate your body chemistry? Now, let's investigate the latest hot girl trend of using workouts to harmonize your hormones.

How exercise can help improve symptoms of hormone imbalance

Exercise is proven to have beneficial effects across the board, but it's also known to improve hormone functioning. "Exercise activates human growth hormone (HGH), which builds lean muscle by pushing protein back into cells," physical therapist Zana Morris tells Women's Health. Another essential hormone to familiarize yourself with is dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). Mount Sinai says that DHEA is responsible for your body's production of sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone, which can play a role in disorders like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

According to research published in The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, growth hormone, DHEA, and estrogen levels were positively affected by regular exercise in a study of elderly Korean women. This information is particularly encouraging because DHEA is known to decrease in your twenties and reach a standstill by your seventies, based on data from Harvard Health Publishing.

Another advantage of working out on your hormonal health is stabilizing metabolic hormones. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that insulin sensitivity improved in participants who exercised moderately and at higher intensities. Insulin sensitivity, also known as insulin resistance, is a condition associated with diabetes and heart disease, as well as problems with weight regulation, per The American Diabetes Association. Furthermore, high levels of cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, influence insulin sensitivity, and moderate physical activity can decrease excessive cortisol over time (via research published in the Journal of Endocrinological Investigation).

Final takeaways on using exercise for hormone regulation

Keep in mind that there is such a thing as too much exercise, and there can even be negative consequences for your hormones if you overdo things. "Once you get past five hours per week or so, you're not exercising for health, you're exercising for performance," Dr. Benjamin Levine explained to The New York Times. Pay attention to your body's responses to your fitness routine – some signs that you might be overexercising include excessive fatigue, frequent colds or illness, and missing periods, per the Cleveland Clinic.

Another factor to consider is your schedule; the time of day you choose to exercise could substantially affect your hormones. "If you work out at the end of the day when your cortisol levels are supposed to be on the decline, it can cause your cortisol levels to deviate from their circadian rhythm," Mike Molloy, Ph.D., told Shape. Unfortunately, if your circadian rhythms are interrupted, it can spell trouble for your hormones. Poor sleep quality impacts everything from human growth hormone to stress and hunger-related hormones, according to research published in The International Journal of Endocrinology.

To keep your hormones functioning at their best, you'll want to take a balanced approach to fitness. If you still find you experience unpleasant symptoms despite routine exercise, it's best to speak with your physician or OB-GYN for further assessment. While working out can support hormone health, it's still important to communicate any changes or concerns with your health team.