As active human beings, we devote a lot of time and effort to making sure we get in our time at the gym, in between running from place to place, being super-mom and dad, and trying to maintain some level of social life and sanity. While our hormones or endocrine system may not be the first thing we think about when find ourselves hitting a plateau in training or life, they may be the underlying cause. The endocrine system is comprised of 9 organs and glands ranging from our brain, to our adipose (fat) tissue and our adrenals. These glands produce hormones and send messages to other glands and organs all over our bodies.
This system helps regulate metabolism and energy production, contraction of muscles, immune system activities, controls growth and development and most obviously, governs the operation of our reproductive system. While men and women certainly have a different ratio of hormones, being off balance in any way can lead to weight gain, inability to create and retain muscle mass, mood swings, and an overall lack of energy. Some of the factors that can cause a cascade of negative effects leading to a poorly functioning endocrine system are stress, toxins, poor diet and digestion, blood sugar imbalances, mineral and essential fatty acid deficiencies, and dehydration.
When we’ve talked about things being related, you can see how this system in particular really puts that into perspective! This may seem like an overwhelming thing to fix, but if we start by addressing the things we can control like what we choose to eat and the easy ways we can support our digestion to make sure we are absorbing those nutrients, we will be off to a great start. Hormones are also made from essential fatty acids, so by making sure you are getting in those healthy fats daily will support the production of these powerful messengers and regulators. The super cool thing about the body is that it’s made to repair and heal itself! Small steps often pay off in large dividends, even though we might not be able to see what’s happening inside of us, we can take note of the positive effects externally by tracking things like our performance at the gym.
Stay tuned for this week’s video where we will discuss where we find common toxins in everyday products that throw our hormones off balance, and nutrients that can help counter these effects!