This week is Women’s Health Week and in true Authentic Health style we would love to share with you some interesting facts you may or may not know about being a woman. Each day, myself (Sarah), Madeleine & Sam will share a new post about women’s health.
Today, let’s talk about what’s all over the TV at the moment, and that is periods. More specifically, training/exercising around “that time of the month”. Did you know that women have approximately 450 menstrual cycles in their lifetime. Most of us feel like we are pretty hard done by having to experience this month in month out, but it doesn’t have to be a burden. Your cycle has 4 unique phases, each one bringing about different physical and emotional strengths in you.
Phase 2 (Follicular Phase) & Phase 3 (Ovulation Phase) are your times when estrogen and testosterone levels start to rise, bringing along with it a boost in energy, improved mood & brain function. This is when we are at our best ladies and look out world! With regards to your training, this is when you can really start to up the intensity and volume of your sessions.
Phase 4 (Luteal Phase) is when your estrogen and testosterone starts to drop. You start to feel a bit less energetic, you want to nest, and some of you feel not as strong as normal. Are you? No. You might feel PMS symptoms like cravings for carbohydrate-heavy comfort foods, bloating, headaches, anxiety and moodiness. This is when you may benefit by de-loading your training (ie, dropping your volume).
The First, but I’m mentioning it last phase is the Bleeding Phase. Everything comes to a grinding halt and for some, even leaving the house feels like it could be the most difficult thing in the world. But believe it or not, exercise is one of the best things to help you get through this time. Here’s some reasons why;
- Exercise lowers stress hormone levels and triggers the release of endorphins and serotonin, uplifting the brain and improving your mood.
- Improved sleep, Exercise, especially cardio, raises your body temperature causing your body to sweat. The post-exercise drop in body temperature can create sleepy feelings and also relax tense muscles and lift menstrual migraines.
- Enhanced blood circulation helps ease menstrual cramps.
We are all unique, and each experience our cycles differently. Overall, one of the best things you can do is give yourself that ‘self love’ and listen to your hunger, energy and cravings to determine what your body is telling you. If you have any questions regarding training throughout your cycle contact one of our coaches and they will be happy to assist you in any way they can.