Launching into a vigorous exercise routine in January might seem like a good idea. The fresh start of the new year and the pricing specials that many gyms and programs offer make it really enticing to whip your booty back into shape.But if you jump into it that way, you’re not taking into account your hormonal reality!The stress and excess sugar intake you will experience over the holidays are both putting your adrenal glands in a compromised position. This will thwart your weight-loss efforts and do more damage to your adrenals and entire endocrine system.I see this all the time at FLO Living, women decide to train for a marathon or triathalon, or to start doing long 90min workouts at the gym or at home. Their intention is to get in shape and lose weight, but because they don’t understand how to work with their hormones, they end up gaining up to 20 lbs!
What gives? Why do your adrenal glands matter?
When you exercise, after you burn through the glucose in your bloodstream - which takes about 30 minutes - you then start tapping into your adrenal reserve. You force the adrenals to pump out cortisol to get your fat cells to convert into sugar for the blood stream.This seems like a good thing, you want the fat to melt right?The problem is, when you have estrogen overload due to unresolved period and fertility issues, the estrogen tells you to store any circulating sugar as fat. So you have this vicious cycle of trying to burn stored fat with cortisol and then estrogen putting it right back on your butt! And this is assuming your adrenals are performing optimally!As if that weren’t bad enough, there is an additional layer of complexity here: your stress levels and diet and how those affect your adrenal health. When we have too much going on (um, hello holidaze!) and when we eat too much sugar and alcohol (again, holiday madness) we are left perfectly vulnerable for our adrenals to start underperforming.So you produce less cortisol throughout the day and during your workouts you can produce none at all! You know you have this adrenal fatigue going on if you find yourself dragging yourself out of bed in the morning and totally drained after your workout and needing a while to recover your energy.In this scenario, you hormones are programming you to be an excellent storer of fat. And any time you workout too hard, too long, you reinforce that messaging.
Where exercise comes in
If you’re feeling drained after the holidays, the antidote is not to pump up the jams and do a zillion jumping jacks - that will actually wear out your adrenal glands even more!In fact, exercising for more than 30 minutes at a time puts undue stress on your adrenal glands by causing cortisol to rise at first, mixing with your estrogen keeping fat on. And if you start this regime already in a state of adrenal fatigue, you’ll gain weight faster than you did from Halloween to New Years!In addition, during the 2nd half of your cycle this all gets worse if you have any of the conditions we treat! At this point - your luteal phase - estrogen is out of balance with progesterone, making you more fatigued and putting further strain on your adrenals.Trust me, having been 200lbs myself, and having tried for years to lose weight before I cracked my WomanCode, I know how frustrating this can be. And of course this is typically when we give up on our new year’s resolutions.
What’s the solution?
Instead of setting yourself up for failure, ease back into a balanced exercise routine!Try 20-minute sessions of cardio or weight training, and longer sessions of more gentle movement like hatha yoga or walking. Definitely do the right exercise for the phase of the cycle you’re in!Tracking your body throughout the month is also really helpful. You’ll get to know how YOUR body functions at different points in your cycle which can help you choose the right kind of exercise for your hormonal phase.
Need more hormone help?
If you’re needing some health upgrading, it’s time you started you looking into what’s going on with your hormones.I’ve designed a 4 day hormone detox and evaluation to help you understand exactly what’s out of whack and how you can start getting back to balance so that your hormones no longer have to suffer.Click here to get your FREE detox and evaluation!