Hormones & Our Fitness Journey
Hormones. They really can cause havoc in our lives! They can be the route cause of many issues and get the blame for an awful lot. Mood swings? That’ll be our hormones. Food cravings? Blame the hormones. Pre menstrual headaches? Yep, hormones.
If you’re struggling to lose weight or you are struggling to find the energy to keep up any fitness routine, then your hormones could be to blame for that.
Let’s take our periods as a starting point. During our monthly cycle, our levels of the female sex hormones,oestrogen and progesterone peak and trough. The effects of these hormones can cause the familiar symptoms of pre-menstrual tension (PMT) such as mood swings, feeling tearful, bloating and sore breasts. Since periods are under hormonal control, our hormones are also responsible for the symptoms we can experience during our period, such as cramping, pain and feeling low.
We may feel less inclined to want to exercise. This can mean that our good intentions fall by the wayside, we stop exercising and we make poor food choices (who else gets sugar cravings?)
Also during this time, the body retains water, causing bloating around the stomach area and larger, heavier breasts. Or some woman will find that she develops more weight around the midriff that she may never have had before.
Women who are beginning to go through the menopause will experience a drop in oestrogen, which means that a woman’s bone density can decrease, putting her at risk of brittle bones, making exercise to promote strong muscles and bones even more crucial. As we age, our metabolism tends to slow down, meaning that we might gain weight by eating and exercising in the same way we always have without any problems before.
So we can see that our hormones play a huge part in our fitness journey and really the best thing we can do is to keep checking in with your own body. Keep track of mood & energy levels to see if they are in sync with your cycle and once you start to see a pattern, you can navigate through each month much easier if you know what to expect!
Eating a healthy, balanced diet and taking regular exercise will help us to regain a sense of control over our bodies, regardless of what our hormones are up to!
Be kind to your body and don’t forget that the female body is incredible… we really don’t give it enough credit!