Trekking the journey to having a fit and healthy body is no joke! There are preparations needed before you could start and seriously get that fit body, more so as your body ages. One requirement for you is to have the determination to finish strong!
Fitness is not only a physical challenge but also a mental one.
When you have a sedentary lifestyle, you should first get yourself checked by a physician to prevent any unfortunate events.
Exercise substantially increases the body’s demands for energy. (1) Physical activity, exercise, and fitness are terms used interchangeably. Physical activity is defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that result in energy expenditure. (2) In a fitness routine, different organ systems function to achieve homeostasis. Movement is initiated by muscle contraction. Blood flow increases to deliver enough oxygen and energy. Increased gas exchange occurs in the lungs and different hormones function to promote bone and tissue growth. The organ systems all work together collaboratively.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone replacement therapy is a treatment option to replace deficient hormones. Postmenopausal women often make use of this treatment to relieve menopausal symptoms such as vasomotor symptoms, and genitourinary symptoms.
Different types of hormone replacement therapies are available – bioidentical hormone replacement therapies and synthetic hormone replacement therapies. These two types of HRT differ as to the source.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapies are hormones that are derived from plant extracts and are often chemically manipulated to become identical to the human hormones. On the other hand, synthetic hormone replacement therapy uses hormones that are not naturally made. It is often made from the mixture of equine mare urine and progestins.
Hormone replacement therapy also comes in different preparations. This is often weighed upon by physicians. It could be in an estrogen-only preparation, or it could be in a combination of both estrogen and progestins. Risks and benefits are considered in using the two different preparations.
So where does hormone replacement therapy fit in your fitness journey?
We all know that hormone replacement therapy has a role in the treatment of postmenopausal symptoms. Alone, it has proved to be significantly beneficial for women but in combination with exercise, hormone replacement therapy provides additional benefits. Exercise combined with hormone replacement therapy plays a role in preserving and improving skeletal muscle attenuation in early postmenopausal women and thereby exert a positive effect on muscle performance.
The common physiologic changes that occur in menopausal women is the higher rate of the loss of the muscle mass and its replacement with fat. Estrogen acts as a regulator of muscle energy metabolism and muscle cell viability.
In menopause, there is a diminished secretion of female sex hormones, and this leads to the gradual loss of muscle mass. In women who are having hormone replacement therapy while actively exercising, it was found that there is an increase in the lean muscle mass as compared to women, not in hormone replacement therapy.
Even after muscle atrophy or loss, hormonal replacement therapy coupled with physical activity could regain the muscle loss from the muscle atrophy. This may be due to the ability of estrogen and hormone replacement therapy to diminish systemic and muscle inflammatory factors at rest and following exercise. Since IGF-1 is a positive regulator of growth-related muscle anabolism and muscle repair, maintenance of muscle mass by hormone therapy may be acting via enhanced IGF-1-related signaling.
Another benefit of combined hormone replacement therapy and exercise is its effect on muscle strength. Muscles of those who are treated with hormone replacement therapy showed greater strength by generating a higher maximum force compared to those who do not use hormone replacement therapy.
This may be due to the effects of hormone replacement therapy on the organization of the muscle cells leading to improved muscle function. In addition to this, there is an increased number of myosin heads in those with estrogen supplementation. This may explain why there is increased muscle strength and force.
Osteoporosis is one of the complications of diminished hormones in postmenopausal women. The best-documented effect of estrogen supplementation in postmenopausal women is its osteoporosis prevention. The relationship between estrogen and bone density has been well established and, thus, in the loss of estrogen in menopause, bone density also diminishes. In women with combined estrogen replacement and exercise, there is the increased bone mineral content. Alone, exercise improves bone density but combined with hormone replacement therapy, bone density significantly improves.
Hormone replacement therapy in men
Men, like women, also gradually lose their bone mass. It turns out that the fall in both testosterone and estrogen in men also affect the bone density loss. The main culprit in the bone density loss in men is suggested to be the diminished levels of estrogen alone. Hormone replacement therapy in men is also available but benefits and risks should always be weighed before the use of HRT in men.
All these effects of hormone replacement therapy in women are the reason why the combination of hormone replacement therapy and exercise are highly suggested. It has a synergistic effect where exercise enhances the effects of hormone replacement therapy and at the same time, hormone replacement therapy aids exercise in making your body better, stronger, and less fragile.
Aside from its effects on the skeletal system, it also affects our mood, fat deposition, and insulin sensitivity. Our conclusion is that hormone replacement therapy with exercise positively affects our fitness journey.
Why not add hormone replacement therapy in your fitness journey? Get yourself a consultation with your physician and discuss the benefits and risks of combining your hormone replacement therapy and exercise.
The stability of your bones, the strength of your muscles, and the bulk of your muscle mass are factors that would influence your fitness. No matter what your age is, there is nothing better than taking care of your health.