By: Amanda Hart
Do you ever feel sluggish when working out on your period? There’s a reason why. This is why many women implement cycle syncing, the practice of synchronizing their fitness and diet routines to their monthly menstrual cycle. Understanding how to adjust your health and fitness routine with your menstrual cycle can bring about incredible benefits. When not utilizing any form of birth control, you can adjust your wellness routine to increase your overall performance. Many women may not realize that their energy, hormonal balance, and metabolic needs fluctuate throughout the month due to the changing phases of their menstrual cycle. This is where the concept of cycle syncing comes into play.
Your Menstrual Cycle: Matching Workouts in Every Phase
The menstrual cycle consists of four distinct phases:
- The follicular phase
- The luteal phase.
These phases are each characterized by unique hormonal fluctuations, impacting everything from energy levels to cravings and mood. By aligning our fitness and nutrition strategies with these changes, we can optimize our efforts and support our overall well-being.
Menstruation, the first phase, is a time when the body is naturally more fatigued. It’s essential to practice gentle movement and prioritize self-care during this time. If lifting weights, it’s important to decrease weight for each exercise and challenge yourself by increasing the volume of sets and reps instead. It’s also important to note that cardiovascular output decreases during this time so you may feel more tired doing simple, everyday tasks like walking up and down stairs.
As we transition into the follicular phase, estrogen levels begin to rise, increasing energy and endurance. This is an optimal time to engage in higher-intensity workouts and focus on strength training. During this phase, I encourage you to push your weight and run that extra mile.
Ovulation, the midpoint of the cycle, is characterized by peak estrogen levels and often a peak in energy, as well. Many women experience increased motivation and confidence during this phase, making it an ideal time to challenge yourself with more rigorous workouts. This is the phase in women’s cycle in which I encourage you to lift the heaviest and run the fastest. You will have the best energy and most potential to recover during this time so It’s important to take advantage.
Finally, the luteal phase, which immediately follows ovulation, is a time when progesterone rises and the body’s metabolic rate increases. However, many women may find their energy levels fluctuating, along with potential mood changes. It’s vital during this phase to adjust workouts to be more gentle and nurturing. During this time of the month, it may be wise to incorporate slower forms of movement like yoga or walking, especially during PMS week. These ebbs and flows in energy and performance output are normal and natural, so women should be aware that these changes in ability will vary from week to week.
Cycle Syncing Your Diet
In addition to adjusting exercise routines, nutrition can play a crucial role in cycle syncing. For instance, during the luteal phase, focusing on nutrient-dense foods can support hormonal balance and help limit cravings. Foods higher in protein will help to keep satiation levels high, and I encourage you to consume at least 1-2 servings of greens daily. During this time, I also advise women to limit caffeine and alcohol consumption to help decrease PMS symptoms.
Ultimately, cycle syncing allows us to work with our body’s natural rhythms rather than working against them. By doing so, we may find ourselves experiencing more sustainable energy, better workout performance, improved hormonal balance, fewer injuries, and a deeper connection to our bodies.
It’s important to note that each woman’s cycle may vary, so it’s essential to pay attention to personal fluctuations and adapt strategies accordingly. While the research on cycle syncing is growing, it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional or a qualified holistic health trainer like myself to tailor these principles to your individual needs.
About the Author:
Amanda Hart is a holistic personal trainer, who specializes in helping women meet their fitness and nutrition goals, often through the implementation of cycle syncing. If you’re ready to embrace the power of cycle syncing and unleash your full potential, reach out to her today to schedule a free consultation call! I’d love to hear from you.
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.