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Hormone Balance Key to Healthy Life

Understanding oestrogen and its impact on women's health and exercise regimes is vital to making the most of your health programs.

Responsible for more than just chocolate cravings and slight mood swings, your oestrogen levels and menstrual cycle affects your "work out" potential and how seriously you are able to stick to your new health commitment.

Oestrogen is the female hormone responsible for stimulating cell growth. It also regulates the retention of salt and water in the body while stimulating bone cells. Importantly, it increases body levels of good cholesterol and reduces bad cholesterol.

However there are many elements that impact the normal cycles of oestrogen in our bodies, including natural genetics, hormone replacement therapies, diet, stress, pollution and much more.

An oestrogen balance is vital to a healthy life. An oversupply in the body can be connected to health risks such as weight gain, cancer and heart disease. Further, as we grow older, the hormone levels in our body will inevitably shift and thereby alter our behaviour. High levels of oestrogen can cause increased weight gain around the waist, which becomes a vicious cycle as fat cells produce oestrogen and more fat means more oestrogen.

A balanced diet contributes to a hormone balance which is obviously the key to a healthy disposition. Some foods are oestrogen inhibitors and others are stimulators. Specific compounds in food can work to balance the production of oestrogen.

Phytonutrients, or nutrients found in many plants, work to balance oestrogen levels. Flavanoids are an example of an important phytonutrient, found in green tea and blueberries. Fruit and vegetables such as onion, garlic, citrus fruits and cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, sprouts and cauliflower) act as oestrogen inhibitors and work to balance out hormone levels.

Below is an outline of what women can expect for the duration of their cycle and what activities work best to help reduce hormone mayhem:

Day 1-5:

It is important to listen to your body, rest if you're feeling fatigued. Exercises such as Yoga can reduce the tension and stress in your body and work to improve your mood. Aerobics classes can improve your energy and reduce fatigue if you're feeling up to it.

Day 6-14:

This is also a good time to increase your cardio and strength work outs. Fluid retention is at its lowest and you generally feel light and slim.

Day 15-21:

Research suggests that after ovulation, around day 14 of your menstrual cycle, your metabolism slightly increases. Make sure you answer your hunger with some healthy snacks and be sure to keep exercising.

Day 22-28:

During this phase of the menstrual cycle women experience a false 'feeling of fatness" and many metabolic changes can occur around this time that alter performance. The 'temporary' increase of your weight will disappear once your period commences.

Keeping active is important in this phase of the cycle, especially if you have increased your carbohydrates, as you may be subjected to aches in your joints and muscles, appetite changes, irritability, feeling overwhelmed and even tearful.

During this time maintain your workouts but consider lower training intensity, perhaps try Pilates or Body Balance classes to relieve stress.

Trying to balance the hormone changes that are occurring in your body throughout the month and remembering to exercise and eat healthily can be quite a difficult task. Tanita understands this need and as a result it has created the new FiTPLuS technology.

The FiTPLuS technology takes into account each woman's individual cycle and uses a traffic light system to suggest days that are best to achieve optimum results from exercise and days that are best spent resting.

Last modified on Tuesday, 11 October 2011 14:08

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