As a busy mum, have you ever felt completely drained, even when the little person in your life has been sleeping well?
As a busy woman, have you ever felt absolutely exhausted and emotionally flat, no matter how well you think you’ve been looking after yourself?
Over the past week I have been feeling this way.
I’ve been focussing on nourishing my body more consistently and making better food choices, so that not only am I supporting my busy life as a Mum but I am also supporting my body to recover from my workouts.
I have been diligent about getting to bed on time so I can get a minimum of 7 hours sleep at night. I haven’t always achieved it, but I’ve definitely had more sleep. Although, on reflection, it has been a little disrupted and I struggled to get to sleep last night.
So why on earth am I feeling wrecked?
Well, the fact of the matter is, it’s all about where my menstrual cycle is at. I am in phase 4 and the final few days of my cycle, with my period due imminently.
What does that mean?
Well, it means PMS symptoms are evident, despite mine being minimal compared to many women. And, during this phase estrogen and progesterone levels, our sex hormones, are declining to their lowest point.
Estrogen has a positive impact on mood, energy, and strength. So, when estrogen drops so does your mood and energy. Also, if progesterone is too low then it can disrupt sleep and affect your ability to fall asleep.
So, there you go – that sheds a little light on why I am feeling so exhausted!
A woman’s menstrual cycle is such an important consideration when prescribing exercise and undertaking a workout. The changes in the levels of estrogen and progesterone over the course of your cycle impact your mood, your energy levels, the way your body uses nutrients and it also impacts your performance during a workout.
This is such an important area for us to understand which is why I utilise this knowledge when training my female clients and myself.
When you know what is happening with your cycle, as well as what lifestyle factors are having a potential negative impact, then you can start to make small adjustments. This in turn provides better results from each training session and all the efforts you are making towards becoming a fitter, healthier, stronger version of YOU!
So, yes, I still worked out today. I just eased back on the intensity and duration, and I did feel better for moving.
And I’m giving myself a break today with how much I will achieve and will get to bed as early as possible tonight.
Do you track your menstrual cycle?
Once we understand our individual cycle, which may fluctuate itself from month to month, we can not only match and adjust our training to align with the hormonal fluctuations, but also alter our nutrition to ensure we are fuelling our body the best we can to support our hormones and their needs.
Further, understanding that your menstrual cycle reflects your overall health and is often referred to as your “monthly report card” – it’s one of the loudest signals from our body when things aren’t as they should be with our health and wellbeing. Making conscious and consistent adjustments to improving our overall health often has the added bonus of helping any hormonal imbalances and therefore improves the health of our menstrual cycle too.
Like anything, some simple lifestyle changes, and increased awareness of your body, inside and out, will not only positively impact your exercise sessions, BUT, and more importantly, the way you feel physically and emotionally during your daily life!