HRT, or hormone replacement therapy, is a type of therapy that uses certain human hormonal substances to replace those which may have become deficient. Reasons for this deficiency vary. Sometimes it’s the result of a disease process; sometimes not. Normal aging will cause a natural decline in the production of sex hormones in both males and females. Many people think of hormones as relating to sex, but there are many with functions that have little or nothing to do with sex or sexual characteristics.
Some Different Types: Insulin and Human Growth Hormone
Insulin is a hormone. It’s released by the pancreas to facilitate the movement of glucose from the blood into the body’s cells, where it’s used for energy processes. A deficiency of this hormone, or a resistance to it, will result in either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes almost always appears before the age of 20. It’s caused by a negative auto-immune response to the pancreas. In other words, the body attacks the pancreas, rendering it unable to produce insulin.
Type 2 diabetes is generally seen in older persons past the age of 65 or so. The exact cause is unknown. Genetics plays a strong role. In Type 2 diabetes, the body may well produce enough insulin. However, the body’s cells have become resistant to its actions. In either case, consistently high blood glucose levels are very damaging to the body’s systems.
Human growth hormone, or hgh, is another critical hormone. It’s produced by a tiny organ in the brain called the pituitary. In children, hgh’s key role is to promote normal growth. Children deficient in hgh will likely be abnormally short in stature, never attaining their true genetic height. Children can be treated with hgh to replace the deficiency. This would be by prescription, under close medical supervision, most likely by a pediatric endocrinologist.
In the adult, hgh obviously doesn’t normally promote further growth in terms of height. Nevertheless, it has some important functions for adults:
- It increases calcium retention, which strengthens bones
- It promotes production of collagen, one of the substances responsible for smooth, plump skin
- It aids in body repair of cells and tissues
- It plays a role in the burning of stored fat
- It assists in the maintenance of normal cholesterol levels
Look at the above list again. Note how many of these functions are also related to the changes seen in normal aging, such as osteoporosis, sagging skin and abnormally high levels of LDL cholesterol. LDL, or low density lipid, is the bad type of cholesterol. It’s the one most closely related to coronary heart disease, in which the arteries leading to and away from the heart have become clogged with lipids, or blood fats.
Human growth hormone has actions on the body that are anabolic in nature. This means that it directly aids in the building of body tissues. It’s not hard to see why bodybuilders often use hgh as part of their workout regimens.
The Role of Physical Activity
Will a type of exercise help you release hgh? Yes. However, not just any type of exercise will do. Remember that hgh is released by the body in measured bursts, not on a constant basis. Shorter, more intense types of exercise will facilitate hgh release the most. Try body workouts, such as pushups and pullups, that utilize several body areas at the same time. Bench presses and lunges are two other good examples.
Does cardio help release hgh? Again, yes. Cardio exercise is that which increases the heart rate. Examples are running and swimming. To facilitate the most efficient hgh release, keep the exercise routine intense and short. Sprinting is better than running.
The right kind of exercise will improve muscle tone, heart health and overall fitness. It will also help you maintain a normal weight and encourage your body to naturally release more hgh. If you exercise on a regular basis, your body will not only release more hgh, but will continue to do so for about 24 hours after you stop working out.
It’s best to plan your exercise routines ahead of time. Set aside a certain chunk of time to do cardio exercise and body workouts. You can alternate these; they don’t have to be done at the same time. Start slowly and work up to a 30-minute session two to three times a week. Don’t overdo it. Just be consistent. See for yourself what a difference some extra hgh can make for you.