Outsmart Your Hormones
Week 2Post-Period (days 8-14)
What's happening with:
Your Body: Your energy is at its monthly high, thanks to rising levels of estrogen and low levels of progesterone (a hormone that has a calming effect). Your athletic ability may also be at its peak. Researchers at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver found that aerobic capacity is greatest during the first half of the cycle. You're also looking your slimmest: Premenstrual water weight is gone. Take action: Put your athletic advantage to use by taking on a physical challenge like mountain biking or trying that Beyond Boot Camp class. You're also most likely to conceive during the second half of the week, so if you want to get pregnant, this is a good time to start trying (your fertility window continues until day 15).
Memory, concentration, articulation and verbal fluency improve when estrogen is elevated, according to a recent report in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology. In one study, young women scored best in a test requiring them to recall a series of numbers and letters when their estrogen levels were high.
Take action: Tackle difficult projects at work. If you have to give a presentation or speech, try to schedule it during this week.
Research shows that women are less likely to experience depression or withdrawal symptoms at this point in the cycle. That's because as estrogen rises, your mood and outlook become more positive.
Take action: If you rely on an unhealthy or self-destructive habit like smoking or nail biting to relieve stress, try dropping it during this week.
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