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Does Your Period Reduce Your Ability To Perform?

Does Your Period Reduce Your Ability To Perform?

SWEAT sweat.com

In the last few years, talking about periods has become less frowned-upon. Even athletes are openly mentioning periods when discussing their performance during a race. With all of the hormonal changes going on in your body, it begs the question: does getting your period have a noticeable impact on your physical ability? Well first, let’s see what is actually happening with our body during different stages of the cycle.

Which cycle of your period means what?

The stage of your cycle can influence your mental and physical ability to workout. The good news is, you can make your training work for you at ANY stage of your cycle.

At the start of your cycle (days 0 to 14) is the perfect time to strive for progression in your workouts and to train hard. The next 14 days (known as the luteal stage) is when you are most likely to struggle with fatigue or general discomfort. Instead of dropping your workout routine completely, it may feel necessary to swap some high-intensity sessions for the occasional low-intensity workout or yoga class.

A rapid drop in estrogen and progesterone triggers the beginning of your period, which can have a major impact on your ability to perform. Women are more likely to have an increased tolerance for pain and take longer to feel fatigued during a workout.

During your period, your body draws on its carbohydrate stores, so it may be possible to burn fat slightly faster than normal. This is the perfect time to strive for increases in power or strength. Once your period actually starts, you are more likely to perform at your best.

The physical changes

Before your period begins, hormones are surging. The high levels of estrogen and progesterone actually affect the turnover of muscle cells, which means that muscles may break down more during tough workouts. So potentially, during this stage of your cycle, those bodyweight exercises might not be working as effectively as you are hoping.

Something lots of women deal with is period pain. The pain is actually caused by uterine muscles contracting, which can lead to a phenomenon known as motor inhibition. This basically means that period pain can affect the performance of the surrounding muscles, such as the core and lower back muscles.

Another issue that women may be struggling with is water retention and an increased body temperature. The hormonal changes before your period can lower the volume of blood in your body, which can make it harder for your body to sweat and keep cool.

The mental challenge

For most women, those days before your period when hormones are at their highest can make it really difficult to get out and exercise. Your motivation is probably pretty low, and it often feels easier to curl up with a hot water bottle.

Unfortunately, your period comes with a range of physical symptoms that can really put a dent in your workout plans. Women may feel fatigue, bloating, headaches and joint pain, or may notice changes to the appetite, low energy or poor concentration.

* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.

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