Why would you benefit from exercising for each phase of your menstrual cycle? Have you noticed how one day your sprinting through the park with endless energy? The next you have to drag yourself out for even a short stroll with the dog.
That is our hormones are work. It really is like a monthly dance. Each week playing a different tune. A slow waltz, a sexy tango, or an Irish jig. But what if you had the monthly dance schedule ahead of time ? You could be well prepped for each dance filled with confidence that you knew the steps to each one with the perfect outfit to match?
In other words, by tracking our cycle and understanding each phase (Download my free planner and tracker to get started on discovering yours) you can be prepared for what each week brings.
Once you have discovered your pattern you can work on those weight loss goals, strength building exercises that bring the full benefit of working with your hormones and achieve your goals. Exercising for each phase of your menstrual cycle really is power to women, and we need to be taking full advantage of this knowledge.
What others are saying about exercising for each phase of your menstrual cycle
“Now, researchers at the University of North Carolina have shown that one stage of the menstrual cycle heightens fat burning, while another increases carbohydrate metabolism.” (quote from of peak performance article )
The menstrual phase
Your hormones are at their lowest. This is time for low impact activity. Taking the stress from your adrenals. Yoga, walks in nature, more flow based tai chi, Pilates movement, resistance bands, stair climbing, bodyweight strength moves. High impact workouts during this phase are draining on the body and taxing on the adrenals. Remember if the adrenals feel under the pump, an influx of stress hormones are bound to be close. And as we know high cortisol Levels have been linked to an increase in belly fat.
The follicular phase
You will start to notice an increase in energy once your period ends and your heading into the follicular phase. An increase in Oestrogen is what leads to the rise in energy so it’s the perfect time for more high endurance strength activity. As I have said use your body as a guide. She will tell you if you are listening for the power of exercise for each phase of your menstrual cycle. Oestrogen strengthens the effect of insulin carb storing hormone) meaning carbs are better tolerated and muscle is more easily built at this stage.
This is the time for Hiit work and more endurance yoga work. The pre-ovulatory spike of testosterone also makes it an excellent time for building muscle. Get the weight out ladies. And no you won’t end up like arnie but you will get the toned lean body most of us strive for. This is the power held in exercising for each phase of your menstrual cycle.
The ovulatory phase
After we ovulate, we get another little spike in oestrogen, and progesterone is on the rise. This leads again to an energy and confidence spike. This is a fantastic time to try some team sports and activities. Bootcamps, boxing are two I enjoy and are a good mix of cardio and strength work. It is also the best time for trying new things, as we are more than likely to stick to it if our experience is good. Again this is a time Carbohydrates are better tolerated according to recent studies. It is a time that these 2 hormones help to burn fat as fuel. So think heart raising moves. Hiking, spinning, sprint work, hill runs.
The luteal phase
Hormones can take a sharp dip here especially towards then end of the luteal phase. This can lead to low energy, mood changes, cravings and any other Pmt symptoms you experience. Progesterone in the luteal phase also decreases the body’s sensitivity to insulin and carbohydrate metabolism. Including lean protein, goods fats, and starchy vegetables such as pumpkin, and squash to keep cravings at bay.
It may also be best sticking to lower intensity training during this time especially towards the end just before your period starts. Light cardio or bodyweight session, especially if you are particularly susceptible to fatigue and depression during PMS. Empowerment is about working with your body, not against it. If your energy is there then go for it. But as the luteal phase comes to an end you will feel the drop in energy so listen out for the clues.
Vary your workouts & tap into the power of exercising for each phase of your menstrual cycle.
It is important to be smart with this information. It is a guide, as am I. It’s also important to listen to your own body and her breadcrumbs. Yes, it’s helpful to know which half of your cycle may produce better results from different exercises but be mindful of limitations and ask for advice when needed.
This means not pushing yourself further than your body wants. And aiming to be injury free.
Both cardio and strength work have amazing health benefits. So be sure to get a mix of both through the month to get the results you desire. This is how I work with my Personal training and Nutrition clients in my Nourish-Move -thrive 90 day programme. Please do not waste time on the “Throw the spaghetti against the wall approach”. Have a plan peeps and get the results you deserve. I hope I have given you some direction to get started and if you would like more hands on help and support please check out my 1-1 and group fitness packages at .
Ready to invest in yourself this lockdown.
Join me over on Instagram where I share lots of tips around food, mindset and exercise to help you bring balance to wherever it is needed most.Then let’s set some positive intentions for this month and make a positive from this whole situation. I look forward to seeing you. Http://www.Instagram.com/newbodyandsoulmom
Have a great week my lovelies x