The Surprising Way Leg Workouts Can Benefit Your Hormones

Leg day: some people love it, and others hate it. But either way you look at it, working out your legs offers plenty of benefits. Healthline points out that strong legs help prevent injury because they help with your balance and coordination. A solid leg workout strengthens bones, reduces joint pain, and can even improve your posture. But that's not all. Working out your legs stimulates the release of hormones, which also brings positive results. 

One of the hormones released while you train your legs is human growth hormone (HGH). The pituitary gland releases HGH, but the amount it delivers to your system diminishes over time. HGH is necessary for cell reproduction and strengthening muscles, bones, and tissue (per Medicine Net). According to Livestrong, heavy resistance exercise is one of the best ways to stimulate HGH. A 2015 study published in Growth Hormone & IGF Research showed that women in particular saw an increase in HGH when performing back squats with weights.

Working out legs releases other hormones

HGH isn't the only hormone released during an intense leg routine. Testosterone is another, and while testosterone is often thought of as a sex hormone for men, it helps build strong bones in bone men and women. It may even help maintain normal brain function (via Harvard Health).

Your body also releases cortisol when you get in a good leg workout. Cortisol is a stress hormone, and it is responsible for your fight-or-flight response in stressful situations. But its other functions include helping your body regulate blood pressure while working to keep inflammation down. Cortisol also helps regulate your sleep cycles (per WebMD).

While it's okay to skip leg day every so often, it's important to remember that working out your legs activates major muscle groups in your body providing a strong foundation. And if that isn't enough motivation, leg days also help keep your hormones in check.