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Menstrual and workouts

Sunday, March 12 2017

A woman’s menstrual cycle lasts around 28 days but can vary depending on many factors.

Fluctuations occur during this time, including levels of oestrogen, progesterone and insulin sensitivity.

How does your menstrual cycle impact your workout? Your period might increase your chance of injury.

Women are two to ten times more likely to get anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries than men, and studies have found clusters of these knee injuries at the start and just before menstruation. Why? When Australian researchers looked at the muscle mechanics of women running on a treadmill, they found differences in the way their knees moved during menstruation compared to ovulation.

The researchers cha lked this up to poorer motor control during menstruation, anything from letting your knee collapse inward when you land to letting your quads do all the work instead of involving the hamstrings and butt.

The way to treat this is to do additional neuromuscular (brain to muscle connection) training, to reduce the load on your knees and ankles and building up strength and co-ordination in both sides of the body.

Add single-leg balance work, plyometric jump work (focusing on form rather than quantity), and hamstring and gluteal strengthening to your workouts twice a week for 15 to 20 minutes.

Your workout can reduce Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS) symptoms According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, regular aerobic exercise helps to relieve PMS. You probably don’t need a scientist to convince you of that based on your own experience.

Set foot in the gym when you’re ‘PMSing’ and you’ll boost your mood, ward off fatigue and facilitate better sleeping patterns.

The follicular phase This phase comes _ rst, lasting roughly from days one to 14 of your cycle and ends at ovulation. At this point, oestrogen increases, while progesterone and body temperature stays the same. This _ rst phase is a time where the female body is primed to hit intense workouts that are of an anaerobic nature.

Increased insulin sensitivity, along with an increase in pain tolerance, can explain this capability. During training in the follicular phase, coupling intense workouts with refeed meals should be utilised, preferably including carbohydrate sources such as sweet potatoes, yams, rice, or starchy vegetables such as carrots.

Ovulation Ovulation occurs around day 14 of the cycle.

Oestrogen has peaked and begins a decline, while progesterone surges. It is normal during ovulation, and for the remainder of the cycle, for a woman to feel warmer for the remainder of the cycle. During ovulation, oestrogen and overall strength is peaked, so heavier weight training can be appropriate during this phase.

Due to joint laxity and oestrogen-induced changes in collagen structure, ACL tears are four to eight times more likely to happen during this phase as mentioned before. Consider supplementing with a tablespoon of collagen in your morning smoothie, place more emphasis on your warm-up, include recovery sessions, and be aware of fatigue and proper form.

The luteal phase This phase begins on ovulation day, most times on day 14. During this phase, your body is not primed to workout at very high intensities, the body will prefer fat as its primary fuel source instead of glycogen, and you might retain more water at this time due to PMS symptoms. This might cause discomfort during short burst exercise plan for lack of motivation here, and stick to aerobic activities as your primary exercise.

Fat burning workouts should be emphasised during the luteal phase. If you are doing a workout that is strength or glycolytic, note that the luteal phase is not ideal for these domains and you may not perform to your usual capabilities. This is the time of the phase to plan things like aerobic trail runs, _ at bike rides, easy swims and other aerobic activities that are at a slightly conversational pace like walking around a savannah on a Sunday afternoon.



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