Burst Exercise Works for Managing Hormone Balance
What are Hormones?
Hormones are chemical messengers that control and coordinate the cells in your bodies. Produced by glands and released into the bloodstream, hormones impact your hearts, bones, brain, muscles and reproductive systems. They regulate your hunger, sex drive, sleep patterns and much more.
What Happens When Your Hormones are Out of Balance?
Hormones work best when they are in balance. Balanced hormones make you feel healthy, centered and relaxed. When your hormones are out of balance, you feel sluggish, tired and out of sync. These imbalances can cause sleep pattern disruptions, fuzzy thinking, loss of libido and mood swings. They can also lead to more serious conditions such as weight gain and insulin resistance.
Hormone levels naturally fluctuate throughout your life, particularly during puberty, menopause and peri-menopause, but they can also become imbalanced when you are under too much stress, have a poor diet and more. While hormonal imbalances are often associated with women, they can affect men, too.
Can Exercise Help Balance Hormones?
One way to balance your hormones is through exercise. Not just any exercise, though. Experts are quickly coming around to the idea that burst exercise for managing hormone balance is more effective than exercising non-stop for lengthy periods of time. For years you have heard that you need 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to intense exercise to stay in shape. This might not be the case anymore, saving you hours on the treadmill, miles on the running track and days in aerobics classes.
What is Burst Exercise?
Burst exercise, also known as high intensity interval training (HIIT), simply combines short, high intensity bursts of exercise with quiet recovery phases. These are repeated during one exercise session. An example is running as fast as possible for one minute and then walking for one minute. Or peddling fast on a spin bike for one minute and then slowing down for one minute. Then repeating this two-minute interval six times during a 12 minute workout.
Since a lack of time is the reason many Americans and Europeans cite for not exercising regularly, HIIT is especially appealing since it squeezes an hour or more of traditional exercise into a short period of time. In fact, according to the American College of Sports Medicine, the physical rewards, including improvements in cardio health and aerobic fitness, match those found in continuous, moderate to intense exercise routines.
How Does Burst Exercise Help People Who are Overweight or Insulin Resistant?
For people who struggle with weight gain, burst exercise is particularly effective at turning off “weight-producing” hormones. Research shows that this type of high intensity interval training burns three times more body fat than does moderate to intense cardio exercising. This is because while burst exercise does not cause your body to burn as much fat as traditional exercise does during the actual exercising, your metabolism stays elevated for a longer period of time after the burst exercise is over. Hence, you burn more calories and fat than with continuous, moderate to intense exercise.
Studies also show that high intensity interval training kicks insulin hormones into gear, improving insulin resistance and glucose intolerance. This happens because this type of exercise exerts its effects quickly. The Type 2 muscle fibres, the ones used in powerful bursts of movement, do most of the work. This makes the muscles to soak up glucose and use it as fuel.
Can Anyone Do Burst Exercise?
Yes, anyone can do burst exercise, although if you have any medical condition or are unfit, check with your doctor first. You do not have to be an endurance athlete or buy an expensive gym membership to reap the rewards. For the time it takes, HIIT offers amazing benefits and leads to hormone balance, especially for people who are overweight or insulin resistant.
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