Stress and overwhelm are all too common in today’s fast and furious lifestyle. The pace of life is faster than ever before. Technology and the digital revolution have meant that we can get more done faster, but it’s also cut out the slack time that once existed. This is great in terms of productivity. But has led to a faster lifestyle with less down time. Women these days are often juggling a million things, including a demanding career, running a household, raising children and trying to maintain any other activities they may value. All in all, this can lead to greater stress. Most of us – for better or for worse – aren’t about to trade in our ‘busy’ lifestyles. Instead, we need to find ways to live fast and live well. Using a fitness or wellness tracker is one way to support your mental and physical health, and your overall wellness.
Key things that support our wellness include exercise, sleep, nutrition, mindfulness, social connectedness, and our environment. By for women in their reproductive years, bringing the menstrual cycle into wellness tracking is super important!
When life gets busy, we tend to sacrifice healthy habits like relaxation, sleep and exercise! This is when a fitness or wellness tracker is useful to ensure you’re kept on track. Here are a few key points around why tracking is useful and why finding a tracker actually designed for women is important.
Tracking Your Menstrual Cycle
The majority of health and tech products are created for and tested on men, then marketed to women. That means they leave out a very important data piece that’s a part of most women’s lives. The menstrual cycle.
A woman’s natural menstrual cycle plays a crucial role in her health and can be a great tool and insight into her overall health if tracked correctly.
Bellabeat is one such wellness tracker that helps you get in sync with your natural cycle. Through tracking your body’s bio-responses and aligning that data with your hormonal cycle, you’ll always know why you feel how you do. And understand what that means for your stress levels and overall recovery. Learn how to create a balanced lifestyle plan that’s your personal, unique recipe to success.
You can track your menstrual cycle using the ‘My Diary’ function in the Bellabeat app. Be in sync with your phases by always know where you are and what that means for you. If we can track our cycles, we can work with them and use them to our advantage. We are super strong and resilient in the first 2 weeks our cycle (during the follicular phase). But this changes in the next part of the cycle (the luteal phase and menstruation). Whether you’re a high performing athlete or an office worker, understanding your hormones and cycles can be very helpful. This is one of the many reasons the Bellabeat trackers as so useful. Not only do these enable you to track your cycles and predict where you are right now, the Bellabeat app gives you timely advice. Like whether you should train or relax.
Tracking your activity
We all know exercise is good for us. From boosting your mood to improving your sex life, the health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore. Here are a few of the benefits of exercise:
🏋️♀️ Exercise combats health conditions and diseases
🏋️♀️ Exercise improves mood
🏋️♀️ Exercise boosts energy
🏋️♀️ Exercise promotes better sleep
🏋️♀️ Exercise puts the spark back into your sex life
🏋️♀️ Exercise controls weight
🏋️♀️ Exercise can be fun … and social!
All Bellabeat devices track your activity. You can set goals and aim to beat them week on week! You can set inactivity alarms to remind you to get up and move throughout the day. Your activity will feed into your overall stress sensitivity calculation so hopefully you’ll be able to see the link between how much you exercise and how you feel. Tracking your body = understanding your body better.
Monitoring your Sleep
As long as you’re getting eight hours of sleep a night, you’re good to go, right? Unfortunately, that idea is a bit outdated. The truth is, everyone is different when it comes to their individual sleep requirements. And your sleep needs vary depending on how much physical activity you’re doing, the quality of your nutrition, how well-hydrated you are, your stress levels, and even where you are in your monthly menstrual cycle. Luckily the Bellabeat trackers can help you monitor all of these things and bring them together so that you can learn what amount of sleep is right for you.
Getting good quality sleep is so much more than just the number of hours you’re in bed each night. As with fitness and nutrition, sleep is another system that depends on the care and function of all the other systems in order to be optimised. In order to feel your best, it’s important to do everything you can to ensure that you complete a full night of uninterrupted sleep cycles.
Some trackers, like the Bellabeat jewellery, can provide predictions of how stressed you might be at a given time. The stress you might feel throughout the day is calculated taking multiple factors into account. What time you went to bed and how much sleep you got, as well as how active you’ve been as this all plays an important role in the calculation. You can also input data around meditation into the Bellabeat app and this will come into (and reduce!) your estimation of stress. And of course, where you are in your menstrual cycle will also be accounted for!
If not managed well, stress can have a big impact on our bodies, our sex hormones, and on our health. Chronic on-going stress elevates the stress hormones cortisol and adrenalin. This puts many other parts of our body out of alignment and disturbs the smooth running of our body systems.
By understanding the impact of certain features of our daily lives we can become smarter about setting goals and improving how we feel. The beauty of tracking all of this information is that you can build up a picture of what makes you feel good. And an understanding of certain things that might make you feel stressed. This is a necessary step to making changes and improving Wellness.
The Bellabeat devices described here fall within the umbrella of FemTech, or Female Technology. These are technologies – software/apps, devices, products – specifically designed to support women’s health and wellness. Designed by women for women.
Written By Dr Kelly Burrowes, Founder of The FemTech Revolution
The FemTech Revolution is New Zealand’s first and only FemTech marketplace. Our mission is to bring amazing FemTech innovations to the women of New Zealand (and Australia). Alongside this we are building a resource and a community to ensure women are better informed about the amazing technologies within the space of women’s health and wellness.