I read a VERY interesting article in Women’s Magazine that I had to share with all my female subscribers! As it turns out, the hormonal shifts that drive you crazy during your menstrual cycle can actually be used to your advantage at the gym! Here are two fun facts about your period and how they might impact exercise:
1. Your metabolism may be at its fastest the week of your period and the week immediately after it.
During your period and the week afterwards, estrogen and progesterone levels fall. This means that at this time female bodies are the most akin to men’s bodies and your metabolism is faster during this time.
Why? Well, according to the article, when you’re on your period your body shifts from using carbohydrates for energy to using fat. Fat takes longer to process by the body, which slows your metabolism and causes sluggishness and fatigue. But after you start your period (and the week after it’s over), your body shifts back to using carbohydrates for energy, increasing your metabolism and giving you more energy to work out!
2. Your pain tolerance may be highest when you’re on your period (and the week afterwards), so hit those weights!
The article also states that during your period (and the week afterwards) pain tolerance is at its highest. Why? Because at this time in your cycle your body isn’t preparing for pregnancy! Muscle recovery time may also be shortened during this time of the month and soreness from a tough workout more brief.
Higher pain thresholds might have to do with estrogen levels; there’s some research out there that suggests that pain thresholds may (or may not) be inversely tied to estrogen levels , ). The bottom line is that it might benefit a woman to try hitting the gym harder during that time in her cycle to see how exercise effects her body.
Well! Who knew that those hormonal swings we women go through could actually prime our bodies for tougher exercise? Definitely makes you think twice about that time of the month, no? Here’s to understanding our bodies more! -CFC
*** Ladies, do you exercise during that time of the month? How does your body feel? ***