The pituitary gland, located in the center of the brain, produces Human Growth Hormone (HGH). HGH stimulates the growth of tissues and is most active in puberty. HGH has been proven to increase bone density, increase muscle mass, decrease body fat, strengthen the heart and increase blood vessel elasticity. Some studies have shown that HGH increases skin thickness, which helps eliminate wrinkles. Unfortunately, HGH production slows with age and the effects are prevalent after the age of 40. A 60-year old man produces 75 percent less HGH than a 20-year old. The body never stops producing HGH and never loses the ability to produce high levels. A proper lifestyle can keep natural HGH production high.
Exercise 30 to 60 minutes a day, 6 or 7 days a week. The body increases HGH production with intense physical activity. Split time evenly between strength training and cardiovascular exercise for health goals. Exercising longer than 90 minutes can actually decrease HGH production. Remember, strength training makes you stronger. While an increase in HGH can increase muscle mass, increased muscle mass does not necessarily equate to an increase in actual strength.
Resting 30 to 45 seconds between weight lifting sets maximizes natural HGH production. A rest period under 30 seconds maximizes fat loss and resting over 45 seconds increases nervous system recovery and strength.
The pituitary gland releases HGH during REM sleep. REM sleep is the deepest phase of sleep and is imperative for many reasons besides HGH production. Do not sleep on the couch in the living room. Turn off the television and all lights. You may want to even place the alarm clock so the light from it faces away from you. Try to schedule 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night.
Proper nutrition assists optimal production of all hormones. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish and fowl. Avoid processed foods. Take steps to reduce negative stress and eliminate smoking, drugs and alcohol.