Written by HealthDay News

Updated on July 09, 2002

TUESDAY, July 9, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- Exercising at certain times of the menstrual cycle could help women shed pounds quicker than normal, says new Australian research.

Leanne Redman, a doctoral student at the University of Adelaide, says women who exercise in the later menstrual phase may burn more fat and feel less tired as they do their workouts.

"Results suggest that exercise performance is improved during the later part of the menstrual cycle -- that is when circulating concentrations of ovarian hormones (estrogen and progesterone) are high," Redman says in a university news release.

That's because the ovarian hormones promote the body's use of fat as an energy supply during exercise, which means that more fat is burned off as you exercise. Using fat as an energy source offers a more efficient energy delivery, and it also means there are less waste products being produced by the body, Redman says.

Such waste products contribute to fatigue when people exercise.

"According to our research, there would be clear benefits to women if their weight management programs, as well as providing a sound diet and lifestyle, took into account the physiological changes that occur during the menstrual cycle," Redman says.

These findings are early results from her research into the impact of the menstrual cycle on women's exercise.

More information

If you're just starting to think about exercise and how it could benefit you, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has some basic advice for you.

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