fbpx
How to Workout to Decrease Stress

How to Workout to Decrease Stress

The luxury of being a woman. No seriously, it is! We just have to realize it.

 

Not sure about you but right now the world is crazy, we have been in a worldwide pandemic, the world has all but shut down, we have been stuck in our homes for days, wearing masks when in public, become the cleanest people ever, and the government is basically paying us to stay home.

 

Have you been stressed at all lately as a result?? I would be pressed to say yes more than likely…

You see, the effects of stress are major. From increased health risks, to weight gain, to hormonal imbalances, relationship problems, work problems, mental health…. The list can go on.

 

 

 

Are you at all aware that working out can actually help reduce those effects?

Well it can, when done correctly. In our society today though we have to approach working out a little differently, especially us ladies of child bearing age (basically anyone who has gotten a period to when we reach menopause). This is because during that time our bodies are functioning off a 28ish day cycle. NOT a 24 hour one like society wants us to be functioning on. If you need a little refresher check out this post for more on that – 28 days vs 24 hours. For now I am just focusing on women and how to workout to combat stress, OH and lose weight. 

 

 

 

 

 

Heres the deal –

If you have read anything on our cycle and health you would find out it is broken into four phases. Each one essentially has a different focus and deals with different hormone levels rising and falling. The hormones we want to think about are estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. 

When they are balanced (meaning going up and down at the right times and the right amounts among the 28 days) we can workout to really support them and our metabolism to get more bang for your buck if you will. We can burn fat better, sleep better, and keep stress lower.

If those hormones are imbalanced we need to workout to support them, or we will just wreck more havoc on our metabolism and health overall.

For the First half of your cycle: (Follicular and Ovulatory)

Hormones are on the rise. You tend to have more energy and in turn actually favors fat loss. Your metabolism is slower and blood sugar should lean more towards the stable side. This means you can do harder stuff. You can focus on more intense strength training, and cardio. Even if you are imbalanced it is ok to do these things – just listen to your body. If it is telling you to stop do it – dont keep pushing. 

A general rule of thumb is to just stick to 30 minute intense workouts. Your body tends to burn through the first round of glucose in your blood for energy in about that time.

When we do what we are supposed to do, our body will recover and thrive off of it. When it is happy that means less internal stress.

In the Second half of your cycle: (Luteal and Menstrual)

 

Your hormones will start to decrease if you do not conceive. This means you want to really start slowing it down before you hit your period. Your metabolism is up so you can consume more dense foods for energy and nutrients, but as your metabolism increases and hormone levels fall so does the stress on your body internally. Cortisol tends to rise during your luteal phase. More stress from extreme workouts can push you into an imbalance.

 

This is why you should really prioritize rest during your period and right before it. This does not mean you cannot workout or do anything, just skip the intense sessions and definitely follow the 30 minute rule. Imbalance means stress internally – internal stress means more issues with metabolism over time, which mean less weight and fat loss.

 

Why no intensity all the time??

 

When you keep pushing you are getting into a more stressed state physically, when this happens you stimulate the release of cortisol which can potentially harm you if your body is already chronically stressed or have an imbalance. The cortisol is released to help you convert fat into energy after you burn through carbs. When this happens if you are in an imbalanced or chronically stressed state you can end up storing fat as your body thinks it needs to for later or start taxing out your adrenals. Both lead to problems down the road.

 

A great way to start figuring out when to do what is by figuring out where you are in your cycle. If you are unsure then start with the moon phases, wonky I know but it holds true and is how I had to start after coming off birth control. 

Listen to your body, rest when you need to rest. And workout hard when you feel like you can. 

 

There are great ways to learn how to do this. A great place to start is with my cycle syncing workout phase guide. You can download it below.

If you are looking to really get started with correcting your flow if you will and want a more personalized approach lets set up a time to chat! Inquire below.

Set up a time to chat!

4 + 4 =

28 days vs 24 hours – a big way women and men differ day to day

28 days vs 24 hours – a big way women and men differ day to day

Women and men are different. (Clearly)

Our minds work differently, we process things differently, we have different needs in regards to calories and energy and even sleep. On top of that we work on different hormonal balances. Men have more testosterone than we do, they do not carry babies like we do. We have different genetic makeups. 

 

PSA ( I am not a doctor but you can do some research yourself to verify what I am getting into today if you have doubts. )

When it comes to hormones, ladies we work off a cycle that goes about 28(ish) days in length. Our hormones rise and fall to help prepare our body for a baby (during reproductive years). 

On the flip side, men have a hormonal cycle that goes about 24 hours. Their hormones rise and fall all in relation to this and they recharge at night during sleep.

Three key things:

Women we do not function at the same capacity we are not supposed to during this time because of hormonal fluctuations (even when they are balanced).

Men can function basically the same way day to day.

We can BOTH get imbalanced through stress and other factors in daily life -for today we are focusing on us ladies though.

If I were to ask you about your day to day, which would you say your lifestyle resembles?

Most likely you would say the 24 hour clock. We tend to wake up and get stuff done and go go go until night time when we crash.

Is that a wrong way to live? Sometimes. Why sometimes? Because sometimes our hormones can support that.

During our first half of our cycle we are good to go, during the second half we need to take more time to let our body rest and reset. Not do all the intense workouts, or work late hours or stress ourselves out because our sex hormones which play into stress hormones are at their lowest.

However – Men can live this way as they recharge every night in a sense. When we are in our reproductive years our recharge and reset time is actually at the end of the month (aka our period). (and ps. This should be a red flag if you do not have one due to meds or any other reason- I am someone who knows first hand about this too).

When we live in a way that does not support this then we are asking for imbalance over time. Our stress hormones will rise, our metabolism will get thrown off and we will suffer other consequences that could range from sleep deprivation to infertility. 

We have to take steps to support our body and hormones in order to get the most out of our day to day. We are NOT the same day to day and we need to honor that. ( I mean somedays I am excited like the picture to the right… others I am the COMPLETE opposite )

 

Small changes can make a BIG difference.

The best place to start is by simply figuring out where you are in your cycle. Meaning when did you have your period last, and if you do not track it then start by paying attention to it next time. Then today start paying attention to how you feel. Chances are if you are feeling good, having lots of energy and focus you may be in the first half. Once you figure out where you are you can start applying things to support your cycle based on that.

  • Things such as adding in certain foods at certain phases.
  • Adding in rest at more pivotal times.
  • Doing certain workouts at certain times.
  • Adding in certain supplements.
  • Etc.

If you are someone who has struggled with weight loss, with hormonal imbalance of any kind, of fatigue, of stress, of anxiety, of depression…. The list goes on. I urge you to start paying attention to where you are day to day., Journal how you feel, track the highs and lows, the cravings, etc. These are ALL insights to our wonderful bodies.

Ladies we have to love ourselves first, this goes hand in hand with that. Taking care of what we are given to get into “sync” and thrive at life.

I have a freebie that can help you get your workouts in sync in you are interested. Just head to the link below and get it today.

Check out my #CycleSyncing 1 on 1 Virtual Program. Dive deep into you and get on track! Limited time savings available now! Contact me to find out more.