Seriously….do you ever notice how your energy and motivation waxes and wanes like the moon?!?! Well sister…apparently it isn’t just in our heads…it is in our HORMONES, and TRULY happens! There is a REASON we feel like we can TAKE ON the world as our period wraps up and like we can barely get out of bed (unless it is for chocolate) the closer to Aunt Flow’s visit.
In FACT….there is actually something called CYCLE SYNCHING that is a proven and researched method for working alongside your hormone cycle to get the MOST out of your workouts….Now as much as I am SURE you would love to get lost down a rabbit hole researching all the info you can on this (notice the sarcasm) I know that if you are like ME…YOU DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THAT INSANITY….so, I am going to summarize this stuff for you quick and dirty so you can take advantage of these perks and know what workouts to do when Aunt Flow visits and when she says ‘peace out’ until next month.
Here we go…in laymen’s terms.
Days 1 – 7 (menstrual cycle)
How you feel….Bloated, crampy, tired and if people aren’t approaching you with chocolate, they really just shouldn’t approach you at all. PERMISSION to take the time to slow down and tune in so you can store up energy for the rest of your cycle. Your body needs PEACE, you are more sensitive to pain so aim for gentle yoga, pilates, walking, and save the high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for later in your cycle.
Days 8 – 13 (follicular phase)
Hormones are starting to increase, energy is up and likely bc bloating is gone and we are no longer losing blood every minute, we are starting to feel GREAT! THIS is the time to kick some ass in your workouts. Lift heavy, make gains, up the intensity and BUILD and try new and challenging exercises bc we are at our best!
Days 14 – 21 (ovulation phase)
Feeling frisky?! There is a reason for that lol This is the time where you feel energize, capable, sharp and ready to CRUSH it….endurance and HIIT workouts, longer cardio sessions can REALLY pay off and feel AWEOME during this time.
Days 21 – 28 (Luteal Phase)
In our bodies, this is when we realize we are getting ready to implant a fertilized egg…hormones are at their peak and your body is preparing to nest….we are filled with warm thoughts and dreamy, creative energy and we are often too distracted to want to crush a workout. You’ll want to start winding down your exercise during this phase, but keep moving if you can, since working out boosts your mood and reduces bloating. You might find yourself having moments of high energy followed by dips so LISTEN to your body and shoot for more restorative exercise like stretching and yoga right before your period begins.
If you have been struggling to gain momentum in your fitness, or perhaps keep hitting a plateau, working WITH your flow versus against it can be the missing piece for you. It allows you to get the most out of your workouts, your energy and your rest time while honouring your body’s natural rhythm and keeping the stress levels in your body low.
Days 1-7 – Yoga, relax, stretch, light exercise
Days 8-14 – HIIT, LIFT, DO it all!
Days 15-21 – Run, Spin, Swim, Dance, push that endurance.
Days 22-28 – Listen to your body, do what feels fun…
Go with the flow sister, unstress to unstick.