The Connection Between Strength Training and Hormonal Balance
Strength training has been gaining popularity in recent years and for good reason. Not only does it help build muscle and increase physical strength, but it also significantly impacts hormonal balance and overall health, particularly for women in their forties.
The need for hormonal balance for women in their forties
Hormonal balance is essential for optimal health, and strength training can be vital in achieving it. Hormones are chemical messengers that regulate various bodily functions, including metabolism, mood, and reproductive health. When hormones are imbalanced, it can lead to various health issues, including weight gain, mood swings, and even infertility.
Ways strength training improves hormonal balance
Strength training has been shown to improve hormonal balance for women in their forties in several ways.
- It helps to increase testosterone levels, a hormone crucial for muscle growth and repair. While often associated with men, testosterone is also present in women, albeit in smaller amounts. Adequate testosterone levels are essential for women’s health, as it helps maintain bone density, regulate menstrual cycles, and improve mood.
According to studies, Increasing testosterone levels, and strength training also help decrease cortisol levels, a hormone often associated with stress.1 Cortisol is released in response to stress, and chronic stress can lead to elevated cortisol levels, leading to a range of health issues, including weight gain and mood disorders. By engaging in regular strength training, women can help to reduce cortisol levels, leading to a more relaxed and balanced state of mind.
- Strength training also helps improve insulin sensitivity, which is essential for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Insulin is a hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels, and when the body becomes resistant to insulin, it can lead to type 2 diabetes. Check out my post: How to manage prediabetes naturally. By engaging in regular strength training, women in their forties can improve insulin sensitivity, leading to improved blood sugar control and a reduced risk of developing diabetes.
- Studies reveal that strength training can significantly impact women in their forties’ overall health. It can help to improve cardiovascular health, reduce the risk of osteoporosis, and even improve cognitive function. It is also an excellent way to manage weight, as it helps increase muscle mass, increasing metabolism.2
Things women in their forties should consider in strength training
When it comes to strength training, there are several things women in their forties should keep in mind to ensure they are getting the most out of their workouts.
- It is essential to start slowly and gradually increase the weight and intensity of the workout over time. This will help to prevent injury and ensure that the body is adequately prepared for the demands of strength training.
Focusing on proper form when performing strength training exercises is also important. This will help prevent injury and ensure the muscles work efficiently and effectively. Working with a personal trainer or experienced strength training coach can help you learn proper form and technique. The Faithfueled life app has video and audio cues to help you focus on your form in your strength training workout. The FaithFueled Life app also provides workout programs to help you progress effectively and safely toward your strength training goals.
2. Strength training is also essential for women in their forties to engage in other forms of exercise, including cardiovascular exercise and flexibility training. A well-rounded exercise routine that includes strength training, cardio, and flexibility training will help to promote overall health and well-being.
How does strength training affect women in their forties?
As women age, their hormones begin to fluctuate. Specifically, estrogen and progesterone levels decline, while cortisol (the stress hormone) and insulin (the blood sugar-regulating hormone) may increase. This can lead to various symptoms, including weight gain, mood changes, and reduced bone density. Many women become overwhelmed with these changes and give up when strength training two to three times per week can help them with hormonal changes and mental health. It’s hard to embrace transition, and the things you used to do no longer work. There is so much information for each woman, and there is no cookie-cutter approach because everyone is different. With that in mind, consider strength training as the foundation of an individualized approach.
Strength training, particularly resistance training, has positively affected hormonal balance in women over 40. Some of the ways that strength training improves hormonal balance include:
The benefits of strength training for women in their forties
- Promoting the release of growth hormone: Strength training triggers the release of growth hormone, which plays an important role in muscle growth and repair. Growth hormone also helps to regulate insulin production and reduce cortisol levels.3
- Improving insulin sensitivity: Resistance training can improve insulin sensitivity, so your body can better regulate blood sugar levels. This can help to reduce the risk of diabetes and may also improve other hormonal imbalances. As we age, insulin sensitivity increases. A study concluded that with physical activity, healthy elderly people demonstrated insulin resistance, and lack of movement increases insulin sensitivity. The more you move, the better your body absorbs and tolerates insulin. 4
- Reducing cortisol levels: Cortisol is a hormone released in response to stress, and high levels of cortisol have been linked to various health issues. Studies have shown that strength training can reduce cortisol levels in women in their forties. Studies have concluded a positive impact on cortisol with strength training that helped reduce cortisol without supplementation. 5
- Increasing testosterone levels: Women also have testosterone, although in smaller amounts than men. Strength training has been shown to increase testosterone levels in women, which can help to improve muscle mass, reduce body fat, and enhance overall health for women in their forties.
- Improving bone density: Strength training is also an effective way to improve bone density, which can help to reduce the risk of osteoporosis for women in their forties and beyond.
Strength training is a powerful tool for women in their forties.
Strength training is a powerful tool for women in their forties who want to maintain hormonal balance and improve their health. Working with a qualified trainer is important to develop a safe and effective strength training program tailored to your specific needs and goals. We can set up a goal consult, assess your needs, and develop a program that works for you and can sustain you as you age. Set a goal consult, and let me help you get strong from the inside out.
Strength training improves hormonal balance for women in their forties.
Strength training is an excellent way for women to improve hormonal balance and overall health. By increasing testosterone levels, reducing cortisol levels, and improving insulin sensitivity, strength training can help to promote a more balanced and healthy state of being. It is essential to start slowly, focus on proper form, and engage in a well-rounded exercise routine to get the most out of strength training.
With consistent effort and dedication, women can enjoy the many benefits of strength training and achieve optimal health and well-being. In addition to guided strength training programs, what makes the FaithFueled life app unique is the daily devotions, meditation, and prayers leading you to incorporate your faith while giving you expert guidance on a strength training program to help women in their forties balance their hormones.
Do you incorporate strength training in your life?
- Janssen, J. A. (n.d.). 68 – 81: Impact of Physical Exercise on Endocrine Aging. Karger.com. Retrieved May 20, 2023, from https://karger.com/books/book/153/chapter-abstract/5090996/Impact-of-Physical-Exercise-on-Endocrine-Aging?redirectedFrom=fulltext
- (Nelson, M. E., PHD, Fiatarone, M. A., MD, & Morganti, C. M., MD (n.d.). Effects of High-Intensity Strength Training on Multiple Risk Factors for Osteoporotic Fractures. Jamanetwork.com. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/384959
- Gharahdaghi, N., Phillips, B. E., Szewczyk, N. J., Smith, K., Wilkinson, D. J., & Atherton, P. J. (2021). Links Between Testosterone, Oestrogen, and the Growth Hormone/Insulin-Like Growth Factor Axis and Resistance Exercise Muscle Adaptations. Frontiers in Physiology, 11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2020.621226
- BROUGHTON, D. L., & TAYLOR, R. (1991). Deterioration of Glucose Tolerance with Age: The Role of Insulin Resistance. Age and Ageing, 20(3), 221-225. https://doi.org/10.1093/ageing/20.3.221
- Kraemer, W. J., Volek, J. S., Bush, J. A., Putukian, M., & Sebastianelli, W. J. (1998). Hormonal responses to consecutive days of heavy-resistance exercise with or without nutritional supplementation. Journal of Applied Physiology. https://doi.org/10.1152/jappl.19184.108.40.2064