Cortisol, Cardio, Menopause, and Facebook

More new insights this week just because I put a couple “likes” on a few Facebook pages out there  that post health and fitness research-based articles.

EastWest Healing & Performance posted something about a link between cortisol and progesterone.  So I researched a little after seeing that post.  Another reason my coritisol is elevated may be due to a progesterone deficiency.  That was a big “duh-smh” moment.  I stopped using the progesterone cream months ago because the hot flashes weren’t so severe anymore and I’m cheap.  Why pay for something I don’t really need?  It NEVER occurred to me that I needed to correct that hormonal imbalance anyway.  It never occurred to me to ask the question..if it’s true that menopausal women gain weight in the abdominal area, and that’s true because they have increased cortisol, WHAT increased the cortisol??  (I’m an idiot sometimes.)

Just about every resource I’ve found about cardio says to avoid steady-state, low-intensity cardio.  A new blog post by Charles Poliquin, a very smart trainer, referenced a study done with subjects over 40.  That study actually confirmed what I see in my own training – strength training alone will have a better result for changing body composition than strength training with steady-state cardio.

I believe this is true, but I’m not going to give up my cardio altogether.  I’m going to do HIIT three-four times a week for a few weeks to see what happens.  I did those HIIT sessions on Monday, Wednesday and Friday this week.  I lifted on Thursday morning, but did not workout in the afternoon that day.  My total calorie burn for Thursday was only 100 calories less than a day when I did two workouts.  It should have been 300-400 calories less.

I’ve written so much about cortisol, that I’ve decided it should have it’s own category on my blog.  Over time, I’ll move the other posts into that category.  Until then, you should be able to find my other blogs on the subject by using the tag.


Filed under Bodybuilding Journal, Cortisol

3 responses to “Cortisol, Cardio, Menopause, and Facebook

  1. sweetopiagirl

    Reblogged this on Inspiredweightloss.


  2. “In experiments, progesterone was found to be the basic hormone of adaptation and of resistance to stress. The adrenal glands use it to produce their antistress hormones, and when there is enough progesterone, they don’t have to produce the potentially harmful cortisol. In a progesterone deficiency, we produce too much cortisol, and excessive cortisol causes osteoporosis, aging of the skin, damage to brain cells, and the accumulation of fat, especially on the back and abdomen. ”


  3. Dawn

    Not yet menopausal but I’ve had success increasing progesterone levels in my luteal phase by taking chelated magnesium glycinate as well as magnesium malate. Might these help during menopause and beyond…? I’m 39 so I should probably start figuring this stuff out.


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