At around the age of 25-30 years old our bodies commonly enter a phase called 'Somatopause'. It is hallmarked by declining levels of human growth hormone (hGH) in our blood stream which continues to decrease with each passing year.
Researches have noticed that this decrease in hGH in the blood stream coincided with the onset of many symptoms of aging, including:
This decline is part of what drives the aging process. The great news is that there are several simple body 'hacks' you can start to practice that will keep your levels of hGH high and by doing so you'll enjoy lifelong, robust health.
Regardless of what stage of life and health you start from you will make noticeable positive changes to these typical signs of ageing. 'Age reversal' and looking youthful is big business, creams, makeup, antioxidants & super foods etc etc. In this blog series I will share with you the ways of exercising to 'hack' your brain to boost your release of hGH.
What is HGH?
Human Growth Hormone (hGH) is naturally produced in the pituitary gland which is located at the base of your brain. It plays a vital role in cell regeneration, growth and maintaining healthy human tissue, including that of the brain and various vital organs.
It is necessary for a child's normal growth and once we become adults, it is necessary to maintain the correct amounts of muscle, bone and fat.
hGH stimulates the liver to convert it into growth factors, the most crucial being insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), which has growth-promoting properties on every cell in the body. It stimulates the production of cartilage cells, which cause bones to grow and muscle mass to develop.
The main hGH functions include:
Benefits of improving your hGH levels
An 8 week study by Phil Campbell put a cohort of middle aged workers through his 'Sprint 8' program of cardiovascular exercise. The people in the study had an average body fat loss of 31% and 71% increase in hGH levels.
It helps you burn away belly fat. Each of your body's fat cells has its own growth hormone receptor. The HGH will bind to the receptors, and when it does it will trigger a series of enzymatic reactions within the cell that lead to the breakdown of fat. This is called lipolysis. hGH also supports fat loss by the way it affects insulin.
hGH is released in waves, the highest level being released at night, about an hour after you fall asleep. It occurs during one of the deepest levels of your sleep, between rapid eye movement (REM) phases. The amount of sleep that you get and how well you sleep determines how much hGH is generated and secreted every night. If you lack sleep, you will not experience any surge of hormone at all.
Vigorous exercise, fasting and restricting carbs and sugar after exercise are all ways of naturally getting your body to produce more of this fitness hormone. In my next blog I'll talk about working smart not hard with regards to cardiovascular training to maximise your levels of this amazingly important hormone.