Most people who want to lose weight are trying to do it without having to give up their favorite foods. If you’re one of them, you’re in luck: there are plenty of ways to eat healthier without sacrificing your favorite comfort foods.

But what about exercise? If you’ve tried a lot of different types of exercise, you know that not all workouts work for everyone. And if your goal is weight loss, you may be wondering whether or not there’s any way to get the benefits of exercise without having to spend hours at the gym every day.

The truth is that there are many different ways to get fit and stay healthy—and they don’t all involve sweating on a treadmill. There are plenty of options for people who have busy schedules and other commitments that make it hard for them to fit in time for traditional exercise routines. But there’s one important thing all these exercises have in common: they’re all designed specifically for women! That means that no matter which one you choose, you’ll be getting an effective workout tailored specifically for your needs as a woman instead of just trying out some random routine from Men’s Health magazine (which doesn’t work).

Right here on Buy and Slay, you are privy to a litany of relevant information on 15 minute full body workout, hormonal workout reviews, spartan hormonal workout, and so much more. Take out time to visit our catalog for more information on similar topics.

Hormonal Workout For Weight Loss

When it comes to working out, more is more, right? Actually, wrong. Too much exercise might actually wreak havoc on your hormones. But how would you even know if your hormones weren’t, in fact, ticking along perfectly? Okay, picture this: You’ve been hitting it hard at the gym but just not getting the results you want. Or, is that excess fat just not budging, no matter how many HIIT sessions you rack up on ClassPass? The likelihood is that your hormones are out of sync, according to our experts.

Hormones are chemical messengers that keep our bodies in a happy state of equilibrium. Unfortunately, crossed wires and miscommunications happen, and before you know it, your hormones are all over the place, and you’re drowning your sorrows in vats of wine and ice cream (it’s okay, we’ve all been there). So what causes our internal communication system to go haywire? It could be work stress, a high-sugar diet (probably driven by that work stress), or even too much exercise.

Jenni Rivett is a personal trainer who has built her method, Body by Rivett, around boosting beneficial hormones and suppressing the less beneficial ones (such as those that come from being too stressed out). Dr. Amy Lee is currently board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and is a member of the National Board of Physician Nutrition Specialists and the American Board of Obesity Medicine. We called on Rivett and Lee to explain the different hormones worth knowing about and how they affect us, plus how the right exercise can get everything back into balance.

Can Exercise Help Balance Hormones?

Absolutely, says Lee: “The amount of movement and physical activity we do daily makes a huge impact on the hormonal responses of the body,” she says. “For example, when we contract our muscle fibers, the movement and fiber activation communicate with the fat cells and adipose tissues by hormonal signaling. Our heart rate and the activation of our nervous system also cause our brain to release various hormones, which ultimately control how our peripheral organs respond. It is pretty amazing how every part of our body works together to ultimately carry out a mission,” explains Lee.

Rivett has her own experience: “I used to suffer quite severely with PMS and was always astounded at how fabulous I felt after a workout. The PMS would almost always totally disappear,” she says. “Since then, I have always been interested in the endocrine system and the role it plays in our health and wellness.”

The endocrine system is comprised of glands around the body that are responsible for secreting our hormones at the correct levels to keep everything in our bodies flowing along nicely. All hormones play a valuable role in our day-to-day lives—including cortisol, which gets a bad rap, is known as the “stress hormone” but is actually vital for helping us get up in the mornings and dealing with any life and death situations.

But, Rivett and Lee have identified that some hormones serve us better than others: Certain hormones, like the human growth hormone, help keep us strong and healthy, so we should do what we can to optimize that hormone. Others, like cortisol, are best kept at a minimum so it can just do what’s needed, rather than being triggered to spiral out of control.

“Exercise has a powerful effect on balancing, suppressing, and increasing certain hormones. Excess estrogen, insulin, and cortisol are the hormones responsible for weight gain, while HGH, testosterone, and progesterone are the ones responsible for keeping us lean,” explains Rivett. “Leptin is another hormone, which, when too low, signals your body to store fat. Your body produces leptin while you sleep, so bad sleeping patterns can drastically lower the levels.”

woman exercising

Which Hormones Are Impacted by Exercise?


Epinephrine/Norepinephrine (catecholamines) – responds to stress, both physical or psychological. “Exercise triggers the brain (hypothalamus) to induce the adrenal glands to secrete these hormones. These hormones play a role in how our bodies [metabolize] the foods we eat. Epinephrine plays the main role in lipolytic activity (fat metabolism),” says Lee.


Made by the pancreas on the arrival of glucose into the bloodstream, it rises and falls according to what you eat, but increases particularly with processed carbohydrates and sugary foods. Insulin signals your body to store fat.


Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress, low blood sugar and exercise. Excess cortisol leads to a raging appetite.


A wonderful hormone in the right amount, it makes conception and pregnancy possible. It’s also a natural mood lifter. However, estrogen works in sync with progesterone, and both hormones need to be in balance. Progesterone helps balance estrogen, and in the right ratio, the two hormones help burn body fat, act as an antidepressant, assist metabolism and promote sleep. But if you don’t have enough progesterone, such as in conditions like endometriosis, you can become Estrogen Dominant, which causes all manner of problems, from a sluggish metabolism and bloating to mood swings.

“Menopause symptoms are partly driven by the decline and imbalance of estrogen. An easy way to remedy this is with exercise. Try to get your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes daily, which helps boost your estrogen levels. This can buffer the worst of menopause symptoms,” says Lee.

Human Growth Hormone

Quite simply one of the most powerful hormones. It’s a fat burner, which forces your body to draw energy from your fat reserves first. HGH is produced in bucket loads after HIIT (in particular), strength training and plyometrics.

“Human growth hormone also increases with exercise and controlled by hormones such as epinephrine/norepinephrine which are part of the sympathetic nervous system. Once induced, it plays a role in fat burn. Intensive exercise can increase HGH,” explains Lee.


Even though testosterone is commonly associated with men, it’s vitally important for women too. It builds muscle, burns fat, increases energy and sex drive, strengthens bones.

“Regular physical activity can increase testosterone, helping to slow the natural effects of aging,” says Lee


As mentioned earlier, this is a hormone that regulates menstrual function and pregnancy. Though it hasn’t been conclusively proven, it’s been theorized that excessive exercise may lower fertility in women through reduced progesterone levels.


Lee recommends regular exercise to help with mood and sleep: “Physical activity releases serotonin, which promotes a good night’s rest. Increasing your serotonin levels can boost mood, appetite, digestion, memory, and sexual drive.”

woman with dumbbell weights

How to Use Exercise to Balance Hormones

As you can probably tell, getting your hormones back to good or optimum levels is a balancing act. “While intense workouts improve your body chemistry, including levels of HGH and testosterone, you have to keep cortisol in check,” explains Rivett. A HIIT class after a stressful day at work is probably the last thing you need. A typical workout week needs to be structured correctly to impact all the hormones positively, Rivett tells me.

High-intensity training can be used to your advantage, increasing beneficial hormones. “Types of exercises with different impact and intensity have shown to increase more of certain hormones. There is data that shows that high-intensity training (HIT) or resistant training helps improve the production of testosterone, which helps with building and maintaining lean muscle mass,” adds Lee.

Steady-state exercise has its merits as well, particularly when it comes to mood regulation; Lee explains: “Cardio such as speed walking and running can increase overall dopamine and serotonin for an overall sense of calm for better night sleep and even just mood elevation. People have reported sleeping better after a good walk throughout the day.”

“Know this: The right exercise will positively boost HGH, testosterone. Both of these are lean-making and youth-boosting hormones. It will balance progesterone, which is key to avoiding weight gain and energy drains. High levels of progesterone will have you burning more calories at rest. Exercise will also drive insulin (a fat hormone) down, and levels will normalize while keeping cortisol (another fat hormone) in check to prevent it from taking over your body. Fit and healthy people can more easily deal with elevated cortisol,” explains Rivett.

The Best Exercises For Hormonal Imbalance

The best exercises for hormonal imbalance depend on each case. “I would first investigate if you are even experiencing a hormonal imbalance in the first place. I work in the weight management industry, so my patient population is addressing those who are overweight and obese,” says Lee.

“Excess body fat (adipose) tissue, not only adds overall stress and inflammation to joints and organs which translates to overall effects on mood, an increase of pain, and worsening of fatigue; but it also adds stress onto organs such as the liver and sex organs,” explains Lee.

Fatty tissue, when out of control, can secrete hormones that affect other hormones: “An example is its ability to secrete higher levels of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) into the serum which then attaches/binds onto active hormones and inactivate their role; which then cause slowing of the overall metabolism,” adds Lee.

In these cases, you need to consider weight management by changing the way you eat and most definitely how you exercise to promote fat tissue burn. 

“Females, for example, can also gain fat weight in the process of weight gain, which triggers the fat cells to secrete more estrogen which then suppresses the ovaries from functioning properly and these women can find themselves temporarily infertile due to this hormone imbalance” Lee explains. In these cases, losing weight can help improve fertility again. Even something as simple as brisk walking daily for 60 minutes and being mindful of diet can help with this, Lee tells me. 

woman in the gym

Some of the best types of exercise for hormonal balance, according to Rivett, include:

  • HIIT: 12 to 20 minutes, three times a week. There is no need to do any more than this.
  • Strength training: A general full-body routine two to three times a week with moves that include upper pushing (like pushup or overhead press), upper pulling (like a pull-up or row), lower pushing (like a squat or lunge), and lower pulling (like a deadlift or hip bridge). 
  • Stretching: Five minutes after every session. Or, attend a yoga class, which will help with flexibility, and, of course, lower your level of stress hormones.
  • Walking: Four to five days a week. Walking is an amazing exercise to add to your existing program.
  • Don’t sit still: If you sit at a desk all day, get up every hour, and do something for two minutes, be it making a tea or walking over to chat with a colleague rather than emailing them.

The Final Takeaway

“Acknowledging the hormone factor has been profound,” Rivett says. “Knowledge is everything, and having the understanding of hormones has kept my clients motivated and, in turn, the results have come remarkably quicker.”

15 Minute Full Body Workout

Can’t find the time to exercise? Well, I’m going to let you in on a little secret: You don’t need to work out for hours and hours a week to lose weight, build strength, and improve your overall health. In fact, you can complete a full-body workout in just 15 minutes—and you don’t even need to go to the gym to do it. The key: compound exercises, which are double-duty moves that fire up multiple muscle groups at once, allowing you to maximize your limited workout time.

The following 15-minute total body workout consists of eight highly effective compound exercises that not only strengthen muscles in your arms, legs, and core, but also challenge your balance and coordination.

Equipment you need:You’ll need one light set of dumbbells (3, 5, or 8 pounds) as well as one heavy set (10, 12, or 15 pounds).

DirectionsPerform each exercise 10 to 12 times, then move onto the next with as little rest in between as possible. Repeat the whole circuit two times. Do it three to five times a week.

For more amazing 15-minute full-body workouts, check out my workout DVD with Prevention, Tone Up in 15.

1. Squat to Shoulder Press

How to do it: With a heavier weight in each hand, place your hands at your shoulders. Squat down. Rise to standing and then press your arms overhead.

Make it easier: Squat down to a chair, press the dumbbells overhead, then stand up.

Make it more difficult: Start with your arms straight overhead, lunge to your left as you bring the dumbbells down toward your chest. Press the dumbbells up as you push through your left heel to stand. Repeat on the other side.

2. Lunge to Single-Arm Row

How to do it: Start with your left leg forward, right leg back, and a heavier dumbbell in your right hand at your side. Rest your left hand against your left thigh. Bend both knees and lunge. As you extend your legs and rise to standing, draw your right elbow up toward the ceiling, keeping it in close to your body. Do 10 to 12 reps, then switch sides.

Make it easier: Instead of performing a lunge with each rep, hold as deep of a lunge as you can with your back slightly bent over the front leg. As you hold here, perform the single arm rows.

Make it more difficult: Add a lunge extension at the end of each rep. As you complete the row and the back knee locks out, shift your weight to the front leg and squeeze the opposite butt cheek. Lift that rear leg up and behind you then return back to the high lunge position.

3. Deadlift to Bicep Curl

How to do it: Stand with a heavier dumbbell in each hand, your feet a hip’s distance apart. Sit back as you lower the weights to your shins, keeping them close to your legs. Then as you stand, curl your hands toward your upper arms.

Make it easier: If you need more back support, use the wall! With your arms at your sides, place your back against the wall and sit into a squat. Stand up and perform the bicep curls.

Make it more difficult: Instead of doing a regular two-legged deadlift, do single leg deadlifts. Shift your weight to your right leg. Keep a slight bend in the right knee. Lean your torso forward and kick your left leg back. Once you reach mid-shin height, keep balancing on that right leg and perform the bicep curls. Do all the reps on the same working leg or alternate each rep.

4. Curtsy Lunge to Upright Row

How to do it: With your arms at your sides and a light dumbbell in each hand, plant your left foot on the mat. Step back and to the left with your right foot. Bend your right knee, and curtsy. Step your left foot back in line with your right, toes pointing forward, as you lift your elbows into an upright row. Then curtsy with the other leg. Do 10 to 12 reps on each side.

Make it easier: Instead of curtsying side-to-side, step back and bend that back knee as low as you can with ease.

Make it more difficult: Add a side leg lift at the end of each rep. So say you are curtsying to your left (right leg behind). Come back to standing, perform the upright row, then as your shifting your weight onto your right foot, lift your left leg straight and up to the side. Then go right into the right side curtsy.

5. Bridge to Headbanger

How to do it: Lie on your back with your knees bent and arms extended over your chest, a dumbbell in each hand. Press into your feet and lift your butt into a bridge. Bend your elbows and bring the weights to your ears. Extend your arms and lower your butt. Repeat 10 to 12 times.

Make it easier: Break up the movement. With your arms straight and the dumbbells over your chest, lift your hips up and drop them back down to the floor. Then perform the headbanger.

Make it more difficult: Do single leg bridges with the headbangers. You can alternate legs each rep or perform half the reps on one leg before you switch.

6. Pushup to Plank Jack

How to do it:From a plank position with your hands under your shoulders, bend your elbows and lower your chest into a push up. Press back up and jump your feet out to the side into a jack. Repeat 10 to 12 times.

Make it easier: Hold the plank position and do toe taps instead of the plank jack: Tap your left big toe out to the left; place it back to center. Tape your right big toe out to the right; place it back to center. This is one rep.

7. Russian Twist into a Pike

How to do it: Sit on your mat with your knees bent. Lean back and lift your feet a few inches from the floor, so you are balancing on your butt. As if you were holding a ball at your navel, twist your torso to the left, then the right, then the left. Return to center, extend your arms. Bring your arms back to your navel and twist to the right, left, right, left, and then center and reach. Do 10 to 12 reps.

Make it easier: Nix the pike and do Russian twists.

Make it more difficult: Keep your feet off the ground and your knees locked out throughout the whole exercise.

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