Exercise helps women balance hormones, improve mood, boost energy, optimize sleep, and reduce stress in both the mind and body. Optimal recovery is just as important when exercising if you want to achieve the best results. Whether you’re jogging, going to weekly Pilates, or strength training, your body needs time to repair and re-energize after exercise. During strenuous physical activity, your muscle tissue breaks down, electrolytes and fluids are lost, and energy stores are depleted. Having proper recovery allows the body to repair damaged muscle tissue and rebuild stronger fibers. Once your workout is done, your body starts a process of recovery that’s complex and requires several of the right factors. Making sure you give your body the proper nutrition, rest, and resources for the most advantageous recovery is necessary to make the most out of your hard work and time. Improper recovery only wears you down, increases the risk of injuries, and you might never see the results you’ve been working so hard to accomplish.

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How Hormonal Differences Among Women Impact Exercise

The majority of differences found between men and women in terms of exercise performance aren’t sex differences but more-so explained by the differences in body composition. Let’s take a closer look at what differences do exist that aren’t explained by body size and composition.

Metabolism

While women tend to have about two-thirds of the muscle mass and twice as much fat as men, women often have significantly better metabolic health. Studies have reported that men have 50% to 100% higher rates of elevated fasting blood glucose when compared to women. 

Estrogen

Sex hormones play a critical role among the differences in muscle mass among men and women. Men’s higher muscle mass can be explained by higher testosterone levels while many of the differences in metabolic characteristics is attributable to the higher estrogen levels in women. It is believed that estrogen plays an important role in beneficial adaptations during aerobic training due to the fact that our muscles have estrogen receptors.  

Estrogen doesn’t appear to impact muscle fiber production or contraction velocity but it can actually assist in muscle repair after exercise. Another reason that estrogen is believed to promote superior metabolic health among women is because the sex difference in insulin sensitivity doesn’t arise until puberity and declines again agter menopause. When estrogen levels are not in the optimal range, metabolic health will also suffer.

Fat and Muscle Differences 

Women use more fat during any exercise intensity than men, making women more resistant to fatigue. However, men have higher glycolytic capacities than women. This means that men can burn through glucose without oxygen, leading to better performance during short-intense bursts of effort while also experiencing more lactate accumulation and longer recovery times after burn-out exercises. 

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The Importance of Stretching for Proper Exercise and Recovery

Stretching not only helps improve your flexibility but also helps improve posture, alleviate stress, reduce body aches, and more. Here are the benefits of stretching for optimal exercise performance and recovery:

  • Increase your flexibility: Improved flexibility can help you perform everyday activities easier while helping delay age-related reduced mobility.
  • Increase your range of motion: Having a full range of motion is important for maintaining your freedom of movement. One study found that both dynamic and static stretching are effective for increasing your range of motion.
  • Improve your exercise performance: Doing dynamic stretches before any exercise can help properly prepare your muscles for movement, helping optimize your performance.
  • Increase blood flow to muscles: Regular stretching may help improve your circulation. Improved blood flow throughout the body can help assist with muscle recovery.
  • Improve your posture: Strengthening and stretching specific muscle groups can help reduce musculoskeletal pain and promote proper alignment in posture. 
  • Prevent and heal back pain: Tight muscles can drastically decrease your range of motion. Stretching is key for helping heal existing back injuries. Regular stretching may also help prevent further back pain.
  • Natural stress relief: Stress often manifests itself physically in tense, stiff muscles. Stretching areas where you tend to hold stress can help alleviate your body’s response to both physical and emotional stress.
  • Decrease tension headaches: While healthy lifestyle habits like proper hydration, diet, and rest play a key role in reducing tension and stress headaches, combining regular stretching can further these benefits.

Tip: Try applying our Pause Muscle and Joint Cream prior to stretching to optimize your full range of motion.

How CBD Can Help Women Exercise?

The physical and mental benefits of exercise don’t have to stop just because you have your period or are going through menopause. Exercising during your cycle can actually prove beneficial as both progesterone and estrogen are lowest during the entire length of the period phase during menstruation. These hormones also plummet during menopause. Aerobic exercises may help lessen PMS, menstrual, and menopausal symptoms while increasing endorphins and naturally boosting your mood. Light cardio, walking, low-volume strength training, yoga, and Pilates are all wonderful options that won’t put too much additional stress on the body. 

While exercise may help lessen your symptoms, getting started is another thing. CBD may offer symptom relief for PMS and menopause, helping get you better motivated and back in your fitness routine.  

CBD for Pre-Workout

CBD may offer numerous benefits when used both pre- and post-workout for recovery and fitness goals. Many people incorporate CBD into their workout routines right before they start exercising, but often forget to consider the impact of their sleep.

Start Your CBD Pre-Workout Routine the Night Before

Proper sleep is essential for getting the most out of your workout. While sleep plays a critical role in our overall health and wellness, active people need more sleep than those that are sedentary. Protein synthesis increases while we’re in non-REM sleep in order to repair our muscles from exercise. Poor sleep will actually inhibit the production of glycogen, an important compound for fueling the muscles. Making sure you focus on having an effective sleep regimen with or without CBD is the first step for preparing your body for optimal workout recovery.

CBD Pre-Workout Benefits

Some experts believe that CBD may offer anti-inflammatory properties while inhibiting the release of stress hormones. These promising benefits may offer better endurance while alleviating any anxiety related to performance or exercise in general. Small doses of CBD can be mildly alerting and stimulating, however, there is no clear cut-off in dosage where CBD becomes sedating. This is where self-experimentation is key in finding what works best for you. 

How to Use CBD as a Pre-Workout

Tinctures offer the second highest bioavailability when taken sublingually. You’ll need to make sure to hold the CBD oil under your tongue for at least 60 to 90 seconds. While it varies from person to person, the effects usually kick in about 30 minutes to an hour, giving you a better time frame of when you take your CBD before exercise. Ingestible CBD, like our softgels and teas, need to make their way through your digestive tract before entering the bloodstream. These usually take about an hour to two hours to take effect. Topicals can also be applied prior to exercise which may help mitigate acute muscle soreness and encourage better endurance.  

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CBD for Post-Workout Recovery

There are two types of muscle pain experienced during and after exercise. The first type is acute muscle soreness (AMS) occurs during or right after strenuous physical activity. It’s often characterized as that tight, burning, fatigued feeling in the muscles. This typically is short-lived and shouldn’t impact the rest of your day or next workout. The other type of muscle pain is delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). DOMS happens around 12 to 14 hours after workouts and can last up to two days. Both types of muscle pain affect everyone regardless of what your current athletic performance is. 

CBD Post-Workout Benefits

Dealing with these two types of muscle pain is why so many are turning to CBD. While more clinical research is needed to make any conclusions, there is an overwhelmingly positive amount of anecdotal data that supports CBD for muscle recovery. More and more professional athletes are turning to CBD for post-workout recovery. CBD’s promising anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties may help women manage and prevent joint inflammation while helping address muscle pain.    

How to Use CBD for Post-Workout Recovery

If you’re planning on using CBD oil sublingually or taking ingestible CBD, you can take it right before you start exercising in order to feel the effects immediately after you’re done working out. This will help address AMS. Applying topical CBD after your workout can also provide the potential pain and inflammation relief you’re looking for. Depending on how your body handles DOMS, make sure to take or apply your CBD accordingly. When combined with proper rest, nutrition, and hydration, CBD may optimize your recovery time. 

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Press Pause CBD for Recovery

As women, we understand the complicated nuances of our body chemistry and how it impacts our fitness goals and muscle recovery. That’s why we’ve handcrafted our high-quality CBD products just for you. We’re always happy to help you find the right products for improving workout performance and recovery. Please contact us for more information!

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