In my last post we talked about using Sprint 8 interval training to naturally increase your growth hormone (AKA your “youth hormone”). “Max effort” sprint style training is necessary for stimulating a hormonal response and getting the most out of your workouts. I highly recommend implementing this into your training program as it is quick, effective and safe for all ages and levels…a rare combination!
Just as important as the level of intensity of your training… I also want to share with you the lifestyle factors that complement these sprints. These methods will help optimize your hormones and sustain that place of balance indefinitely. Below, there are references to adjusting testosterone and estrogen. It is important to note that men and women have both of these hormones present in their bodies. We are simply looking for an appropriate balance. Not surprisingly, the best way to achieve this is to create the most healthful habits possible. Then right on cue, your body naturally gravitates towards this state of peace, health and balance it is designed for.
The following is an overview of important points for creating hormonal health. Some are quick fixes and others might take a while to adjust. A good way to begin to tackle this list is to pick something you have either never focused on before or haven’t mastered and execute it as a “ten” (to the best of your ability).
- Train maximally. Lift heavy (even women) and sprint fast!
- Limit or eliminate sugar from diet.
- Eat cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, spinach.
- These veggies contain indoles, which have been shown to remove the bad estrogens from the body.
- Eat healthful fats.
- They are essential for building testosterone.
- Example foods are: olives, olive oil, coconuts, coconut oil, butter from raw grass-fed organic milk, raw nuts (such as almonds and pecans), organic pastured egg yolks, avocados, and grass-fed meats.
- Limit caffeine.
- If you do drink coffee, try adding coconut oil instead of creamer for additional good fats.
- Limit alcohol intake.
- Avoid toxins (environmental estrogens) and chemicals.
- Don’t microwave plastic containers.
- If non-stick pans are old and breaking down, throw them away!
- Buy organic produce, meats, dairy, etc when available
- Get Vitamin D daily.
- Getting Vitamin D by absorbing into your skin directly from the sun is always best – approximately 20 minutes or until skin gets a slight pink color.
- Get a full night’s sleep.
- Ideally going to sleep when it is dark out and waking with the sun to align natural circadian rhythm. Between 10pm-6am would be great.
- Reduce stress.
- Cortisol (the stress hormone) blocks testosterone, and when used in excess can cause a slew of health problems.
- Maintain appropriate body fat levels, specifically the waist size.
- Fat around the mid-section has a particularly detrimental affect on hormonal health.
Ok, that is a thorough list that should give you plenty to work on. We will discuss these more in depth in the future. For now, pick a topic that you haven’t focused on or mastered in the past and turn it into a strength this week. Over time, these small changes and shifts become habit and reshape your entire life.
Getting stronger every day,