Warwick Daily News - - Weekend - JOEL BRAD­FORD Joel is a per­sonal trainer, health and per­for­mance coach and owner of JB Health and Per­for­mance. He holds a Cert III and IV in Fit­ness, Strength and Con­di­tion­ing Cert, Ad­vanced Nu­tri­tion. For more go to jb­ READ MORE AT jb­health

Your hor­mones could be stand­ing in the way of your health and fit­ness goals and you wouldn’t even know it. A grow­ing body of re­search sug­gests that hor­mones play a mas­sive part in pre­vent­ing both males and fe­males from achiev­ing their health and fit­ness ob­jec­tives.

Hor­mones are re­spon­si­ble for con­trol­ling a lot of our body’s ma­jor func­tions such as reg­u­lat­ing heart rate and me­tab­o­lism, ap­petite, mood, sex­ual func­tion, re­pro­duc­tion, growth and de­vel­op­ment, sleep cy­cles and pat­terns, and the trans­porta­tion from the food we eat to the en­ergy we use through­out our body.

So, I guess you could say that hor­mones are pretty im­por­tant.

Hor­mone lev­els are dif­fer­ent be­tween males and fe­males and many of us can ex­pe­ri­ence hor­monal ups and downs on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. Some signs of im­bal­ances in­clude sleep dis­or­ders, skin con­di­tions, acne, de­pres­sion, anx­i­ety, per­sis­tent weight gain, ex­cess belly fat, un­usual dis­per­sion of fat on the body, sweat­ing, loss of mus­cle or find­ing it hard to put mus­cle on, mem­ory fog, di­ges­tive is­sues, crav­ings, con­stant fa­tigue, headaches and mi­graines, low sex drive, hot flashes and night sweats. And then there’s the one that a lot of hus­bands, wives and part­ners know all too well ... mood swings.

Don’t be alarmed by this long list. If you are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing two or fewer of these symp­toms then there is a very good chance that you do not have a hor­mone im­bal­ance.

How­ever, if you are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing three or more of these signs it may be a good idea to get an as­sess­ment done with a knowl­edge­able health and fit­ness pro­fes­sional or natur­opath who can help iden­tify any im­bal­ance and put to­gether a pro­gram to rec­tify the is­sue.

Im­bal­ances of hor­mones within your body can be caused by a num­ber of things in­clud­ing ex­cess stress in your life, poor di­ges­tion and poor gut health, a lack of nu­tri­ents in your diet, lack of ex­er­cise and lack of thy­roid func­tion (hy­per­thy­roidism or hy­pothy­roidism).

So how do we bal­ance our hor­mones and al­low our­selves to live a hap­pier, health­ier and more pro­duc­tive life?

Well, the first thing you need to do is iden­tify what hor­mones, if any, are out of bal­ance.

The sec­ond step is to iden­tify and elim­i­nate any fac­tors that may be con­tribut­ing to the cause of your hor­mone im­bal­ance.

Once you’ve done this you can in­tro­duce a specif­i­cally de­signed nu­tri­tion and sup­ple­men­ta­tion plan in con­junc­tion with an ex­er­cise pro­gram to cre­ate the ideal en­vi­ron­ment for your hor­mones and your body to thrive.

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