What Is Infradian Rhythm and Why Do Women Need To Know About It?
In the world of health we are constantly discovering new ways to understand our bodies. This is especially true in the world of women’s health as many decades of research were spent investigating from a male perspective. One area of emerging study revolves around infradian rhythms.
We’ve most likely all heard of a circadian rhythm, which is the body’s 24 hour internal clock. This regulates our sleep/wake cycle, our energy levels, our body temperature, and more throughout a daily period.
An infradian cycle is one that lasts longer than 24 hours, such as weekly, monthly, or seasonally. One of the most obvious infradian rhythms is a woman’s menstrual cycle.
While research into this topic is relatively recent, you only need to ask the average woman if she has ever noticed her body changing throughout the month to confirm that this rhythm is quite real. A lot of systems in a woman’s body are affected by the stages in this cycle. Metabolism speeds up and slows down at different points, levels of hormones such as progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, and cortisol fluctuate, and even the chemistry of the brain changes.
So if we really want to get in tune with the stages of our menstrual cycle, we would be wise to adapt several areas of our life in order to work with our bodies instead of against them.
Here are 3 first steps to take in order to start embracing your infradian rhythm:
Track your cycle
Use an app or track on your calendar when you get your period and how you feel at various times of the month so you can start paying attention to what your body is telling you.
Adapt your diet
A woman’s metabolism is actually higher during the second half of her cycle, so increasing food intake—especially carbs—during this time can be helpful.
Modify your workout routine
Energy levels are lowest during the menstruation phase of a woman’s cycle, so dropping the early morning cardio workout for an afternoon session of gentle yoga or a walk is much better for your body.
These are just a few simple examples of how to start tuning in to your infradian rhythm and taking steps toward optimal wellbeing.