Updated: Sep 30, 2021
Have you considered how hormones affect your mental and physical health?
These chemicals are linked to how we feel and how our bodies function, so they’re well worth looking at when working on your overall health.
This guide has been written to particularly support women in the perimenopausal and menopausal stages of their life, when hormones can be particularly imbalanced. If you would like support with your own health and movement during these stages of your life, sign up to our newsletter, or consider joining one of our move courses.
HOW TO BALANCE HORMONES
When it comes to addressing your hormone health, there are a few hormones to consider:
In perimenopause to menopause phase, oestrogen levels decline and the hunger hormones increase, which can cause our metabolism to slow. If you are experiencing this stage, you may have seen some weight gain around the stomach - even if you are regularly exercising and eating healthily.
In order to support your hormone levels in this time of your life, try to:
Eat protein at every meal to help to decrease the hunger hormone
Avoid too much sugar, refined carbs, salt and alcohol, as these increase the blood sugar hormone insulin
Work on your stress management to reduce cortisol levels
These three steps can help to increase oestrogen levels and lower progesterone levels, levelling out imbalances experienced during the perimenopause.
If you start by controlling sugar intake, you may see a rebalance in your hormones within weeks!
The liver is another important place to focus on when addressing hormone imbalances. The liver regulates the balance of sex hormones, thyroid hormones, cortisol and adrenal hormones, as well as removing excess hormones from the body.
Signs of liver not functioning effectively include:
Swelling in legs and ankles
In order to restore hormonal balance, you may wish to support your liver’s function. According to the British Liver Trust, easy ways to improve and reach healthy liver function include:
Reducing your alcohol intake (drink no more than 14 units per week)
Keep to a healthy weight
Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables
Drink lots of water
Lightly exercise for at least 30 minutes per day
Speaking of exercise… A lack of exercise or reduced exercise can have a real impact on your mind, body, and hormone health. A lack of exercise can have the following effects:
Increased blood sugar levels
Decreased muscle mass
Decrease in mood enhancing hormones
Performing strength training, aerobics, walking or other forms of physical activity can modify hormone levels in a way that reduces the risk of disease and protects muscle mass during the aging process.
Get started with movement again and join a 4U Pilates Movement Class, with extra online and workshop support in our Midlife Champions Course designed by expert Zoisa Holder