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Why aerobic and resistance exercises can add years to your life: They boost your growth hormone levels

27 Apr 2023

As we grow older, our pituitary gland releases less Human Growth Hormone (HGH) — from 600 micrograms at 25 to 90 micrograms at 60. Being physically active through focussed workouts, exercise and a good and wholesome diet will keep our HGH levels at an optimum level and well-regulated, says holistic health expert Dr Mickey Mehta

Human beings self-generate cellularly from birth to death. The pace and the efficiency of regeneration are dependent on lifestyle inputs. The best part is, however non-conducive our choices might be in life, our growth by default is sustained for a pretty long time until it collapses after continuous abuse.

Needless to say, our hormones govern our cellular make-up and break up, of which HGH (Human Growth Hormone) is one such element whose significant functions can determine the quality of our being and healing and can ensure that we are in good shape, as long as we are disciplined. HGH is an anabolic peptide hormone, which is produced by the anterior pituitary gland in the brain. During childhood, HGH helps develop our organs and tissues to become healthy adults.

It is released in the body through activities like workouts and exercises. Once it is released in the body, it stimulates the liver and produces insulin-like growth factors, which trigger the growth and repair of bones and body tissues, cell reproduction and regeneration.

The various other effects of HGH on the body are as follows:

• Maintains and improves bone density and improves the health of ligaments, tendon and cartilages, reducing the risk of fractures and osteoarthritis.

• Increases muscle mass through sarcomere hypertrophy.

• Increases protein synthesis.

• Stimulates the growth of all internal organs including the brain.

• Plays a role in establishing equilibrium throughout the body.

• Keeps the immune system flowing.

• Harmonious functioning of internal organs.

When the pituitary gland does not produce adequate HGH, it causes a condition called growth hormone deficiency. This may lead to increased body fat and cholesterol, greater risk of heart and liver disease, depression, diabetes, disturbed sleep, brittle bones, wrinkled skin, hair loss, loss of muscle mass and reduced sexual drive.

As we grow older, our pituitary gland releases less HGH — from 600 micrograms at 25 to 90 micrograms at 60. This could be a result of malnutrition, inadequate physical activity and rest, and a collection of psychological and emotional toxins, which inhibit our progress towards general well-being. Instead, it makes us vulnerable to a host of germs and bacteria culminating in decay, disease and eventually, death. The worst, of course, is to lead an inactive lifestyle, with little or no exercise. Whereas, being physically active through focussed workouts, exercise, a good and wholesome diet as well as regulated breath and meditation, will keep our HGH levels optimum, well-regulated and result in better health and well-being. It is proven that the right diet, meditation and the regulation of breath can cure emotional problems in human beings. The cell regenerates simultaneously in such an environment and increases its ability to perform with efficiency as well. This is what is meant by anti-ageing and age reversal.

It doesn’t stop there: it translates to mood elevators giving us an unparalleled high. This feeling makes us want to exercise again and again and again. So, it is no wonder that with our growth hormones at their best behaviour, our gene expression begins to change. What we were born with and what we will pass on and die with, will be different. Should we call it some kind of magic? Certainly! The human body, along with consciousness as its commander, becomes a magical wand.

Once HGH is released in the body, it only remains active for two to three hours. Both aerobic and resistance exercises yield a sharp increase in growth hormone secretion. The intensity of the exercise is directly related to the amount of HGH released. Exercise is very important for youthfulness as it supports hormonal growth and sustains cellular regeneration. Exercise directly stimulates the production of HGH post-workout along with other hormones like testosterone, thereby delivering the desired results. If we oscillate to activity of a fine kind, it is only natural we will oscillate back to passivity and have a deep rest. Therefore, a well-integrated, planned, designed and balanced workout is the best way to harness HGH.

Benefits of optimal levels of HGH:

• Fat loss: It supports ideal weight management of unwanted fat and improves metabolism by stimulating fat cells. The fats from adipocytes (fat cells) are efficiently released in the bloodstream and give the body a leaner tighter look.

• Better hormonal balance: It supports cognitive efficiency, heightens awareness and mental stability and improves coordination.

•Enhanced stamina: Enhanced oxygenation improves cellular function.

•Finally, it has great anti-ageing effects on the body, which includes organs, muscles, bones and most importantly, the skin.

In essence, cellular regeneration could be related to the waning and the waxing of the moon, keeping the life force constant. The force of life is subtle but don’t undermine it, as it is more than total. It is really fascinating to see how a seed breaks open the hard crust of the earth for a plant to grow.

Published in Indian Express

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