(NaturalNews) Our diet and lifestyle has a direct effect on our endocrine system. Our hormone regulation can change based on what we choose to eat and how we choose to live. Leptin and insulin are two powerful hormones that influence how energy is metabolized throughout the body. Exercise has been shown to increase sensitivity to both leptin and insulin, which is an important part of maintaining healthy homeostasis and natural energy regulation.
About Leptin and Insulin
Leptin and insulin are the master hormones when it comes to weight control. Leptin, in particular, signals the brain to store or burn fat. Leptin is used by the body to regulate energy use through metabolism and appetite. Fasting or consuming too few calories on a regular basis can lower sensitivity to leptin, which leads to increased hunger, cravings and lack of energy.
Along with leptin, insulin is another hormone that regulates how fat is used or stored in the body. When the body is sensitive to the actions of these hormones, natural homeostasis exists and weight is naturally regulated. However, cells in the body can become resistant to leptin and insulin. When this happens, the body requires higher and higher levels of these hormones to get across the proper signals. This often leads to a distorted appetite, poor energy levels, and unwanted fat gain. In the long term, it can also increase your risk for developing metabolic conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
Exercise Improves Leptin and Insulin Sensitively
For years, research has shown that the benefits of exercise far exceed a simple equation of calories burned during activity. Exercise appears to have a powerful influence on our neurotransmitter and hormone levels, and what exercise you choose can determine how your body responds.
Exercise and movement in general have a positive effect on leptin and insulin sensitivity. A study at the University of Florida has shown that modest exercise allows leptin to work properly, thereby reducing weight gain.
Many experts believe that interval training in particular has a strong impact on the regulation of hormones like leptin and insulin. Short bursts of vigorous exercise interspersed throughout a moderate level workout appear to have long term positive effects on how these two key metabolic hormones are used in the body. Small studies have demonstrated that this type of exercise may in fact be the most effective both for fat loss and muscle growth.
Simply starting with a walking program with intervals should kick-start one`s leptin and insulin switches into their proper mode. As these hormones begin operating more efficiently, energy and appetite are better regulated, making good health easier than ever to achieve.
Elizabeth Walling is a freelance writer specializing in health and family nutrition. She is a strong believer in natural living as a way to improve health and prevent modern disease. She enjoys thinking outside of the box and challenging common myths about health and wellness. You can visit her blog to learn more: www.livingthenourishedlife.com/2009/10/welco...