I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately because I’ve been experimenting with jogging and, even though I thought I would hate it (flashbacks to being forced to run in high school!), I’m surprised to find I’m actually liking it and wanting to get out and run!
Not only is this improving my lung capacity, heart rate, and endurance, it’s actually improving my hormone balance!
Research has shown that the balance of estrogen and progesterone, the two main hormones involved in healthy functional menstrual cycles, are in better balance when women get regular exercise. When women exercise the total amount of hormone in their body decreases (i.e. becomes healthier), and the ratio of estrogen and progesterone improves. You can see two studies here and here.
Obviously this is good for all of us, but it’s especially useful if you happen to be one of the many women suffering from what is commonly called “estrogen dominance.”
Estrogen dominance is what it is called when the ratio of estrogen and progesterone is out of whack. Estrogen is the hormone that helps grow the egg and makes the mucus that allows sperm to survive in our bodies prior to ovulation. And progesterone is the hormone that makes the uterus into a nice cushy bed for a fertilized egg to land in and prepares the body for pregnancy. Estrogen is dominant prior to ovulation, and progesterone is dominant after ovulation. There are a million other things these hormones do, but these are some of the main jobs.
Estrogen dominance doesn’t necessarily mean you have too much estrogen. There are several things that could be happening to have an off balance ratio:
- You have normal levels of estrogen, but the progesterone is too low
- You have low levels of estrogen, and even lower levels of progesterone
- You have high levels of estrogen, and normal levels of progesterone
Some of the symptoms that women may experience with estrogen dominance are:
- Lack of ovulation
- Irregular periods
- Short luteal phase (time after ovulation before next period starts)
- and more!
In addition, women who have conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, and fibroids often have estrogen dominance and getting these hormones in better balance is a great way to reduce symptoms.
Remember, you don’t have to run a marathon three days a week! The key to staying motivated is finding some kind of movement you enjoy, be it jogging, walking, biking, dancing, or anything else. Think of it as increasing the movement in your life, and reducing the stagnation.
So next time you’re thinking that you should exercise but can’t motivate yourself to get off the couch, remember that doing this will help you have better ovulation, better periods, less PMS, and more! It’s definitely worth it and you’ll be able to see the results in real time if you are charting your menstrual cycles! Having that proof in front of you is a great way to stay motivated.
Worried you’re suffering from estrogen dominance? Do you have PCOS, endometriosis, or fibroids? Contact me for a free 20 minute consultation and we can see if one of my programs is right for you! Join me in taking the first step towards improved hormonal health.