The Power of Your Period
WAIT… Gents – before you run away – it’s worth knowing how your partners, mothers, daughters, sisters and clients feel during their menstrual cycle, and how to plan an exercise routine around it. So read on.
It’s that time of the month again and you’re feeling bloated, irritable, tired, grumpy and psychologically devastated. The symptoms vary by individual and can affect you physically and mentally, but it can also affect your performance – in a good way – if you pay attention to your cycle.
Your cycle influences your metabolic rate. The week or so before your period is due to begin (luteal phase) your insulin sensitivity levels lower while at the same time giving you an increase in metabolism. You will actually burn calories faster than any other time of the month. Studies show an increase of total energy expenditure of up to 11%. Bonus, right?
So fight the urge to reach for the Panadol and slouch on the couch during your next cycle and try to remain consistent with your exercise routine, as the benefits are quite surprising. Here are a few:
– A decrease in cramping pain due to a release of endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers
– An increase in blood flow due to the loosening of muscles in your lower abdomen, back, and thighs
– It may help achieve a lighter and shorter menstrual flow over time
– It assists in ridding your body of excess water so you aren’t as bloated
– It assists in improving and stabilising your mood, making you less anxious, angry, or depressed.
If you have a heavy flow day or experience painful cramping but don’t want that to stop you from getting your workout fix, just go with the flow (pardon the pun) and focus on non-pelvic body parts, like your biceps and triceps and other upper body exercises.
However, you may also need to keep in mind that with your menstrual cycle comes an increase in appetite and potential cravings, which can lead to consuming additional calories. This is a sign from your body that it needs more energy for metabolising. During this time, carbohydrates release Serotonin and food cravings occur.
To help you stay on track, try not to give in to the cravings that don’t serve your goals and aim for foods that will nourish your body and restore your energy needs.
I find these tips will help to ensure you are nourishing your body during your cycle and help with that dreaded bloat:
– Exercising around your period will improve oxygen circulation throughout the body
– Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein
– Consume low GI carbohydrates
– Avoid lots of salt (but use spices, especially spicy ones – liberally. Oregano is a great herb to include)
– Avoid refined sugars and fried foods
– Avoid caffeine – it can make cramps worse
– Drink at least eight glasses of water each day
– Sip on herbal tea
– Get plenty of sleep
– Use heat to relieve cramps so that you can get to the gym and stick to your workouts.
power to your period!!! There is no need to let your period hinder your lifestyle, mentality or performance any longer.
Athlete, Model & Vlogger
Gold’s Gym Australia National Ambassador
Technogym Wellness Ambassador