OK. Me neither. So let's look at 3 important hormones effected by regular exercise to see learn how we can feel the immediate benefits of being more physically active.
There are so many great reasons why I do not have time to exercise, and I know you have yours too. So let's just skip them and head into why we feel so AWESOME after exercise and how to work it into our busy lives.
We are all well aware of the importance of being active most days of the week for our health. We can significantly lower our risk for many of the chronic illnesses that our country is now leading in: obesity, Diabetes, chronic pain etc. But what does exercise do for you right here and NOW ?
- Lowers your Cortisol - that nasty stress hormone that keeps the belly fat from budging from your waistline. Want to get rid of that muffin top? Need to lower your cortisol!
Start the day with restorative exercise - yoga, Pilates or swimming. For most of us, starting the day off with a run is actually too stressful for us to achieve and too hard on our aging bodies. In this case, it is the exact wrong way to begin our day because it is raising our cortisol which signals our bodies to hold onto extra fat to ensure we have enough calories to make it through a stressful situation. Restorative exercise lowers your cortisol while strength training. Strong and toned muscles have the bonus of continuing to burn calories throughout the day even when you are not huffing and puffing!
- Raises your Serotonin - the mood stabilizing hormone that keeps the days looking sunny and bright even when you hit a rough patch.
New studies show that consistent exercise is better than anti-depressants for depression. Raising your Serotonin during the day keeps your emotions out of the slumps AND it is the precursor for Melatonin which helps you go to sleep and STAY asleep through the night. We all feel so much better after a good night's sleep, right? If you do not have 30 minutes to spare - break up your exercise into two 15 minutes chunks of time when you walk to work or school, take the stairs or do a few reps with hand weights. How about a Plank for one minute beside your desk?
- Raises your Oxytocin! The hormone of love and bonding
Oxytocin has long been associated with matters of the heart - increases bonding between partners and children. This has a far reaching health benefit to men and women. The more Oxytocin released from your pituitary, the better one is able to handle life's stressors. Oxytocin decreases Cortisol, and lowers your blood pressure response to stressful situations. Higher levels of Oxytocin increases the rate of healing from injuries.. And Oxytocin has been shown to not only reduce fear, but decrease aggressive tendencies as well, generally increasing the subjects ability to empathize. Health benefits of human connection!
You want to know a great way to get the boost Oxytocin levels AND get your exercise? ORGASMS. YES! We knew we wanted more in our lives anyway! Check out this brief 2 minute video detailing the Health Benefits of Orgasm. Consider this a prescription for your week : 3 orgasms to boost your health.