Friday, October 26, 2018

Essential Hormones #2

Every time you exercise, special hormones in your body spring into action. They give you energy, or spark your motivation, or boost your mood. Dr. Katherine Borer at the University of Michigan says, "Hormones are essential for your ability to workout effectively. They improve heart and lung function, they bring fuel to your muscles, and they help your body recover afterward." Check out this up-to-the-minute info on workout hormones.

Growth Factors
When you workout, the body releases hormones such as insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and proteins like brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF). IGF-1 and VEGF help repair the muscle damage caused by exercise which builds the fibers back stronger. These growth factors also strengthen memory and cognitive function.

Different workouts stimulate different hormones. HIIT exercises raise VEGF, heavy weight lifting raises IGF-1, and endurance activities raise BDNF levels.

Take Away? Change up your routine regularly.

Irisin
This increases the activity of the genes that convert white-fat cells into brown, a beneficial type of fat that can burn calories. Irisin may reduce white-fat stores, too.

Workouts that target large muscle groups like glutes or pecs typically release more irisin that exercises that work smaller muscles, like calves and biceps.

Take Away? Endurance activities like running, or heavy weight lifting like CrossFit, can stimulate irisin production. 
 
Additionally, there's also evidence that increasing levels of melatonin, the sleep hormone, may bump up irisin production. Sleep well and burn fat, too!

Take Away? Eat melatonin-rich foods like walnuts and tart cherries as an evening treat.

Interested in more information? Learn about BDNF in these posts:

Find out more about irisin here:

Stay Active, Keep Moving (with a varied workout)
 and Enjoy Your Food

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